A large number of employees and also small business employers understand the basic part of workers’ compensation – if any worker gets injured on the job, they are compensated with medical expenses, and part salary replacement till they become fit to re-join their job. In addition, in the event, the worker dies due to the accident, his/her dependent gets survivor’s benefit. However, there is something more, and knowing them well is as important for workers to get their legal rights, equally for employers to avoid being sued and fined, says Charles Spinelli.
There are four important things that everyone needs to know
Workers’ compensation insurance is a legal mandate and hence mandatory all over the US. However, the rule among states in terms of employee numbers, recommended coverage, etc. varies among them. It is, therefore, highly recommended for employers go through the legal requirement of their state and ensure they adhere to the same. Failing to comply with the law can lead to huge penalties, hefty fines or even facing legal action by an injured worker. Similarly, workers may consult with a worker’s compensation lawyer to know their legal rights.
Coverage and Benefits
As per the law, an injured employee on the job is eligible to receive insurance coverage involving medical bills, and disability benefits, apart from wage replacement till recovering and resuming the job. Choosing the insurer and paying for the insurance premium is the responsibility of the employer, regardless of the state. Thus, it also aims to benefit employers by liberating them from taking more costly liabilities.
Charles Spinelli suggests businessmen should speak to their lawyers and understand things and make sure they are legally protected after going through the terms and conditions of the worker’s insurance companies.
Calculation of Premium
The insurance premiums for workers’ comp are calculated based on each $100 in payroll, and a number of factors including the type of business or industry, employee strength, nature of the job, and claim history of the company, among others.
In general, insurers carry out a thorough evaluation of the respective business to get an idea of its operations, and safety measures, alongside risk factors before calculating the exact premium amount. Therefore, undertaking certain steps proactively for having a safe work setting is the right choice to lessen the premium. Providing employees with a safe and non-hazardous workplace is also a legal compulsion for employers
Employers are required to implement certain practices pertaining to the reporting of job-related injuries and illnesses. This should be based on the laws in the specific jurisdiction or according to the terms prescribed by the insurance carrier.
In general, reporting should be done as soon as the injury takes place. Also, the reporting needs to follow all terms of the insurer, and each information should be in detail in the report. The report should be signed by the employer or his authorized signatory. Missing the deadline or gaps in reporting may lead to denial of the claim, unwanted legal complexities and thereby delay in obtaining benefits.
According to Charles Spinelli having the appropriate systems in place and maintaining straightforward procedures is the key to fast responding after the injury or accident. Also, reporting should be done through the proper channel. Employees should be made well-familiar with the systems and procedures and need to comply with them with carefulness.