A surprising number of people go out of their way to avoid claiming workers’ compensation benefits. Despite being there to protect people who work hard for their money, workers’ compensation insurance has a negative association in the minds of some employees. They might think that people who claim benefits are lazy or trying to shirk off their job responsibilities. They may also fear that making a claim could damage their employer’s financial circumstances.
First of all, the whole point of Connecticut workers’ compensation insurance is to limit how much a workplace injury affects either the employee or the company that hires them. Second of all, the benefits are there to make sure workers get the rest and treatment they need to fully recover. When will an employee need to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits?
When an injury leads to an extended leave of absence
If you cut yourself with a tool or fell and broke a bone, you may not be able to do your job until you heal fully. If you need to take multiple days off of work for your recovery or treatments, you may need disability benefits. While you remain unable to work because of your injury, temporary or even permanent disability benefits will replace your wages so that you can continue paying your bills.
When you need medical care for an injury or a work acquired illness
While you may have private health insurance through your employer, your policy probably requires payments from you. You need to meet a deductible before the company will pay for your treatment, and you may have to pay a certain percentage of your overall costs in coinsurance. When you need surgery or physical therapy, workers’ compensation can help you by covering 100% of the expenses for necessary medical care.
When you can never go back to your old line of work
Sometimes, workplace injuries are so severe that a worker will not fully regain all the function they had prior to the injury or illness despite receiving excellent medical care.
If an employee can no longer command good wages through hard physical labor or skilled work, their earning potential may drop substantially. Workers’ compensation can provide disability benefits that help cover that gap in income or job training benefits to help make the worker more competitive on the modern employment market.
Understanding when you might have reason to claim workers’ compensation benefits can help you take the right steps after you get hurt on the job.