If you’ve been hurt at work, friends and family have probably mentioned workers’ comp to you. But what is it? How do you get it? Why should you get it?
Workers’ comp, a common shortening of workers’ compensation, is money paid to a worker who has been injured or is sick because of their job. Workers’ comp can include paying for medical treatments, money towards lost wages, and even death benefits to a family member. Workers’ comp claims are usually filed for accidents at work that result in injuries, but mental illness and certain diseases also qualify in some cases. Having internal medical equipment damaged or an injury at work making your condition worse are also situations for workers’ compensation.
Most jobs are required to have workers’ compensation insurance from a workers’ compensation insurance agency. The money you are paid comes from the insurance agency, not from your paycheck.
According to the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission, Virginia’s first law about workers’ compensation was passed in 1918 and became law on January 1, 1919, so we have had just over 100 years of workers’ compensation coverage in the commonwealth.
Getting Workers’ Comp
After you’ve been hurt at work (or a doctor tells you your disease is caused by your job), you’ll tell your boss, tell a doctor, and then call HammondTownsend. HammondTownsend will evaluate your case for free, and can start the claims process. Your attorney will file for the relevant benefits for you.
You may be able to do your regular job, or you might have to do light-duty work (physically easier work, as directed by a doctor) or not work while you heal. The types of benefits you receive depend upon the type of illness or injury you have, and how badly you are affected. If you can’t work at all, you’re entitled to more benefits than if you can work a little.
HammondTownsend will be with you throughout the claims process, and will help you deal with all the bureaucracy so you can focus on getting the care you need and on healing.
Receiving workers’ compensation benefits are your right as someone who was injured at or made ill by your job. You would not be injured or sick if not for your job, so it is right that your job should compensate you for your medical treatment and lost wages.