This is the first installment of a series that will educate workers and their families about injury, disease and death resulting from work. The most basic question is: What is workers’ compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a legal system established in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and for federal employees. Workers’ compensation laws began in the United States in 1912. The laws are different in each state, but the basics of the law are quite similar in all states.
If a worker is injured, contracts a disease or dies as a result of work activities, all of the medical and burial expenses are to be paid by the employer. The employer is also responsible to pay for lost wages, physical disability, and mental disability. Workers’ compensation does not pay for pain and suffering and is generally limited in duration of payments, although some states pay lifetime benefits.
The balance of this series will go through the basic steps of how to obtain workers’ compensation benefit. The goal is to inform, which helps victims of workplace injury, disease or death receive proper compensation.