Do I Need Workers Compensation for My Business?

Fran
Fran Majidi
December 3, 2020

If your business has employees, workers’ compensation is a must and is required by law in most states. Workers compensation offers insurance coverage for when employees become ill or injured on the job. Workers’ compensation covers employees’ medical costs and a portion of their lost wages. This coverage also includes employee rehabilitation and death benefits to families of employees who are killed on the job. So as soon as you hire your first employee, be sure to sign up for workers’ compensation for your business. So if anything should happen to an employee at your place of business, you’ll be ready with the proper insurance coverage. And you’ll need to think about workers’ compensation for remote workers as well. Remote and telecommuting workers are typically covered under state workers’ compensation laws if the worker’s injury arises out of or in the course of employment. Wherever the incident takes place if the worker is injured while completing a work task during work hours, he or she may be eligible for workers’ compensation. So be prepared with the proper workers’ compensation coverage.

How To File a Workers’ Compensation Claim

If one of your employees says he or she got injured or sick on the job, it’s important that you file a workers’ compensation claim with your insurance company as soon as possible. How long you have to file a claim varies by state. So it is best to move quickly. A workers’ compensation claim should include how the accident happened, the type of injury, and the day and time of the accident.

Give your employee a claim form to complete so they can get workers’ compensation benefits as quickly as possible. If an employee is sick or injured, make sure they receive proper medical attention.

Submit the proper paperwork. Employees will need to send the insurance company their account number, the parent company name and their policy number.

The injured employee would need to submit on the claim form their name, date of birth, address, phone number, Social Security number, age and gender, marital status, number of dependents, hire date, number of years in their current position and current wage information. The claim also should include as many details about the incident as possible.

Once you get the workers’ compensation form back from your employee, send it in to your insurance company straight away. Your insurance company will either approve or deny the claim. An employee can dispute their workers’ compensation benefits or file an appeal if benefits are denied. So there are recourses if an employee’s first workers’ compensation claim is denied.

How To File a Workers’ Compensation as a Remote Employee

A remote employee filing a claim for workers’ compensation must provide evidence that the injury is work-related. To make a successful claim, a remote employee will have to show that he or she was acting in the interest of the company at the time of the injury, which occurred away from the company’s physical office space.

Workers’ Comp is Regulated at the State-Level

Workers’ compensation is regulated at the state level. Each state has its own unique set of workers’ compensation laws that employers must follow. These state regulations help ensure that employers provide coverage to employees for work-related injuries. Wage and medical benefits vary by state as well.

What Kinds of Injuries are Covered by Workers’ Comp?

An employee injury caused by using big and heavy work equipment, an employee slipping on a wet surface while on the job, a strain caused by heavy lifting or an employee injury due to a workplace fire would be covered under workers’ compensation.

A workers’ compensation injury could happen at the employee’s desk. For example, an IT professional who works on a computer all day starts to notice pain in his wrists. He has carpal tunnel syndrome and requires surgery. The surgery would be covered by workers’ compensation.

Getting a Medical Report

Injured employees must visit a health care professional so a doctor can provide medical reports to support any workers’ compensation claims the employee makes. So the first step for injured employees is getting adequate medical attention. The next step is using the doctor’s report for the workers’ compensation claim. Once the workers’ compensation claim is approved, the employee will receive their compensation benefits and they are free to return to work when they feel well enough physically. When off-work, the employee is entitled to a percentage of their regular wages. These wages also are covered by workers’ compensation insurance.

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What Happens if I Don’t Get Workers’ Comp?

Most states require businesses with employees to purchase workers’ compensation coverage for their employees. Businesses that fail to provide workers’ compensation coverage can face severe consequences. These consequences include the payment of employee medical claims out of their own pocket, fines and penalties and possibly losing the right to do business in the state.

How Much Does Workers’ Compensation Cost?

In 2019, the national average monthly cost for workers’ compensation was $85. This is an average rate and the rate you will pay for workers’ compensation insurance will depend on factors such as your state, your payroll and your claims history.

What Workers’ Compensation Doesn’t Cover

Injuries that occur outside of work, injuries that occur while commuting to and from work, injuries due to alcohol consumption or substance abuse will not be covered under workers’ compensation.

Is Workers’ Comp Coverage for Seasonal Employees?

Seasonal employees may be covered by workers’ compensation in some states. Check with your state to find out if your seasonal employees are covered by workers’ compensation benefits.

Is Workers’ Comp Required for Sole Proprietors?

While workers’ compensation laws vary from state to state, most states don’t require sole proprietors to carry workers’ compensation coverage.

Are Volunteers and Contractors Covered by Workers’ Compensation?

Depending on the state in which you live, volunteers and contractors may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if they are injured or become ill on the job.

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