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What to know about workers’ comp

On Behalf of | Sep 27, 2021 | Workers' Compensation

When an individual in Toms River, New Jersey, can no longer work because of an injury, he or she may qualify for worker’s comp. Workers’ comp is a requirement for employers in some states to pay medical bills and lost wages. However, an injury must meet the requirements as outlined by the Social Security Administration.

Overview of workers comp’

States began creating worker’s comp programs in 1911, and employers in all states, except Texas and Wyoming, must buy it. Workers’ comp pays a portion of an employee’s salary for work-related injuries or illnesses that prevent him or her from doing his or her job. It also pays death benefits, permanent or partial injury, and the cost of continuing care.

While the state pays for employees in the state, federal workers comp pays for federal employees. Workers’ comp does not cover every type of employee, which commonly includes seasonal and domestic workers, farmers, and independent contractors. It differs from Social Security Disability, which is a long-term national program that covers nonoccupational injuries.

What workers’ compensation covers

Workers’ compensation only covers injuries an employee sustained on the job or doing work-related tasks. For example, if an employee fell while picking up mail for his or her employer, the injury could qualify. It covers many common occupational conditions and diseases, such as asbestos-related illnesses, carpal tunnel syndrome, work-related stress, and black lung disease.

Voluntary work events are commonly not covered, but nonvoluntary events that benefit an employer are. While injuries sustained from horseplay between employees typically are not covered, a third party who got injured may qualify for benefits. Workers’ comp may exclude injuries caused by drugs or alcohol if the employee registered a .08 blood alcohol content (BAC).

Employees have a time limit to file a claim, which is commonly 30 days. An employee can draw benefits and receive third-party injury compensation together.