You may be familiar with workers’ compensation in the sense that you know it can get you benefits if you suffer an injury at work. However, do you understand the system and how it works?
The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry explains workers’ compensation can be confusing, but once you understand how it works, you will have an easier time dealing with the system if you ever need it.
Workers’ compensation is not a program through the state. Many people wrongly believe this. It is insurance your employer purchases. The insurance offers you benefits, and the insurer determines your eligibility. If your employer does not purchase the insurance, then there is no coverage.
The state does play a role because it sets laws that distinguish the benefits within workers’ compensation and many of the rules for receiving them. The state also mandates which employers must carry coverage. If your employer has a mandate to carry it and does not, then it will face penalties.
One of the nicest things about workers’ compensation is it is no-fault. This means that you do not have to prove your employer did anything wrong to lead to your injury. The idea is different than that of a court case. The system’s design is to keep employers and employees out of the courts and resolve issues through workers’ compensation instead. Unless you did something erroneous to cause your own injury, you should qualify for benefits.
Workers’ compensation will provide you with four types of benefits. The first is lost wages, which will pay you for time off work at a portion of your regular pay. The second is medical coverage. The program should cover all costs related to the treatment of your injury. The third last type is vocational rehabilitation which will help you to get back to work once you recover. The fourth is permanent partial disability.