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What is Workers’ Compensation?

July 19, 2021
Workers' Compensation


In 2019 over $48,343,292 were paid out in workers’ compensation insurance premiums (Insurance Information Institute, 2019).

What’s worse, over 888,220 people were injured on the job, and those are just the numbers of compensated workers.

Whether you’ve experienced a workplace injury or not, it’s crucial that you educate yourself on what workers’ compensation is, which situations qualify for workers’ compensation claims, and how to file a claim.

Workers’ compensation is a specific class of business insurance designed to cover employee injuries on the job.

All employers are legally required to purchase and cover workers’ compensation insurance for employees.

Issues arise when insurance companies are unwilling to pay for full medical expenses or employers are aware of the injury but do not respond appropriately.

Related: Your Non-Negotiable Rights as an Employee: 5 Integral Job Discrimination Laws

What is a Workers’ Compensation Case?

A Workers’ Compensation Case is opened when an employer of an insurance company fails to pay appropriate premiums to the injured employee.

Cases are generally pursued with the goal of fair compensation in the form of wages, benefits, and medical expenses.

The employee typically files a claim internally to their employer to notify them about the dispute.

If the employer does not follow up in a given time frame (usually 14-30 days), employees will either have their claim automatically validated by the state OR the employers will need to pay a fine.

After filing workers’ compensation claims, insurance companies should follow up with case details in 4-8 weeks.

Overall, claims are filed through your employer to their insurance coverage company. However, in certain circumstances claims can be directed towards employers.

Employer-related claims are filed when employers intentionally harm employees. If you are in this situation it’s crucial that you contact legal professionals to help you pursue your case.

What Does the Workers’ Compensation Process Look Like?

Generally, a workers’ compensation case process can resemble the following:

  1. You bring your injury or illness to the attention of your employers.
  2. Your Employer provides you with the necessary paperwork for insurance claims
  3. Employer files the claim and…
    • Sends reports to insurance companies
    • Files reports for state workers’ compensation boards
    • Notifies you about rights and workers’ compensation benefits
    • Gives your information about when to come back to work
  4. The insurance company approves or denies the claim.
  5. You return to work after recovery and compensation payouts.

Related: Los Angeles Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

What Are the Different Types of Workers’ Compensation Injuries

There are several different situations where employee injuries may take place.

A few of the most common injuries include…

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Slip and falls
  • Head/back/neck injuries
  • Mental or psychological injuries
  • Amputation or permanent loss of bodily function
  • Machinery or equipment injury
  • Burns

There are also certain jobs that are especially prone to injuries. In 2018 occupations with the highest volume of workers’ compensation injury claims included…

  • Laborers (manufacturing, construction, etc.)-68,470
  • Drivers-49,700
  • Janitors-35,620
  • Nursing Assistants-33,430
  • Maintenance workers-29,370
  • Stocking and order fulfillment-25,570
  • Delivery services-26,760
  • Retail-26,760

Are Workers’ Compensation Payments Taxable?

When it comes to taxation on workers’ compensation claim payouts compensations may be taxable.

The two main exceptions for tax-exempt workers’ compensation payouts are employees who are already receiving SSDI or SSI benefits.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a way for people with long-lasting disabilities to make income from government tax payments.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) on the other hand includes people who do not qualify for the SSDI due to a lack of work credits (workable hours).

If you are not receiving SSDI or SSI benefits your workers’ compensation payouts will not be taxable.

Related: What is Employment Law? 6 Key Terms You Should Know

How to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim

To file a workers’ compensation claim start by filling out necessary claims from the Department of Industrial Relations.

Your employer should provide this within 1 day of being notified of your injury.

Following the submission of the claim, your employer will help you fill out the remainder of the paperwork.

If you want the best chance at a successful workers’ compensation claim or you feel your employer has intentionally caused your injury Contact Us at Levin and Nalbandyan.

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