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Understanding workers’ compensation benefits

When a worker in Columbus, Ohio, gets injured on the job and needs time off, he or she may expect workers’ compensation benefits to cover the incident. This is likely but work comp benefits may not always last as long as individuals needs them in order to recover.

Most employers have workers’ compensation insurance. This coverage is not owned by you or the employees but by the employer and should be viewed as such. It is designed to pay for necessary medical treatment that is needed due strictly to injuries received at work or while on the job. During an employee’s time of recovery, workers’ compensation will pay a replacement wage.

Any claims of workers’ compensation must first have two criteria verified before benefits begin to be distributed. First, the insurance agency must be able to confirm the relationship of an employee to his or her employer. After that, an investigation will occur to confirm or deny the injury occurred at work. If the insurer is satisfied by its findings, an injured employee will begin receiving benefits.

Independent contractors do not qualify as employees under workers’ compensation coverage. This means that if they are injured while working for a client, they will not be covered and will not receive benefits to financially buffer a recovery.

In most cases, workers’ compensation claims go smoothly and the injured employee returns to work. But the process can become more stressful if the injury is severe and the recovery time is long. In situations such as this, a doctor selected by the insurance company may tell you that you are capable of returning to work before you think you are ready. You have a right to get a second opinion if you do not agree with the doctor’s recommendations.

Remember that you are working with a physician chosen by an insurance company on your employers behalf so he or she does not want to spend any more money paying your wages and medical care than it believes to be absolutely necessary.

Source: Washington Times, “Workers’ Compensation: What you need to know,” Paul Samakow, May 7, 2012

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