Workers’ Compensation Benefits: What They are for and How to Apply

For individuals whose main source of livelihood is work, sustaining a job-related injury will definitely have a devastating effect. Besides the physical harm brought about by an injury, there are other (financially) crippling consequences that can only further a victim’s predicament, such as costly and, sometimes, prolonged medical treatment and medication, and loss of income due to days or weeks of failure to return to work.

The passing into law of the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Benefit in 1908, which certain employers had to provide for their workers who get injured on the job or who developed work-related illnesses, was a really big factor in improving the over-all condition of workers. Previous to this law, injured workers were always forced to file a lawsuit against their employers for the simple purpose of getting compensation for whatever suffering the injury subjected them to.

The lawsuits, however, only destroyed the workers’ relationship with their employers; these were also usually decided in favor of employers who always used any or all of the following arguments:

  • Contributory Negligence – an argument that puts the blame (on the accident) on the injured worker himself/herself, based on the fact that it was his/her carelessness or negligence which actually caused the accident
  • The Fellow Worker Rule – A fellow worker caused the accident and so the injury must be blamed on him or her and not on the employer
  • Assumption of Risk – The job entailed danger; thus accepting it also meant accepting all possible dangers it could result to.

With workers’ comp, immediate financial assistance, without the need for litigation, is provided to the injured workers. The financial benefits are intended to cover lost wages, medical treatment, rehabilitation, disability and death.

Each state, which enforces the workers’ comp law, has also issued the requirements that claimants need to comply with; there is also a statutory period set within which claimants will have to file their application.

Unfortunately, some claims get denied, some applicants wait long for the decision of approval or non-approval, and so many other issues arise, which get the decision for the application either rejected or delayed.

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