How Long Can a Worker Stay Covered Under Workers' Compensation?

Employers can help their employees especially when they need it the most. Their well-being and safety are the keys to long-term success. At the same time, they ensure that the company remains legally compliant by understanding the Workers Compensation Act. However, in this article, we will tell you about how long can a worker stay covered under workers compensation?

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What is Workers Compensation Insurance?

Workers Compensation is a legal liability of an employer, and it protects employees/ workers from huge financial costs. However, without Workers Compensation Insurance, an employer might have to pay these huge compensation damages from his pocket. This can cause a huge setback or even a business shutdown for small businesses. Thus, Workers Compensation Insurance is vital for big or small businesses.

A Workers Compensation Insurance provides employees coverage in case of injury, disablement or death due to on-the-job accidents.

Conditions to Pay a Workers Compensation

A workmen’s compensation insurance policy is a win-win proposition for both the employer and the employee. However, from an employer's perspective, there are a few things that he needs to keep in mind while paying for workers compensation. It is important to know that this insurance doesn't cover injuries sustained while travelling to and fro to work.

An employer is liable to pay compensation to its workers under the below conditions:

  1. When a worker has an occupational disease mentioned as per the Act. The said disease should be a result of an injury caused by accident at the workplace
  2. Partial or total disability caused due to an accident at the workplace
  3. Death of the worker due to hazardous work conditions or accident

How Long Can a Worker Stay Covered Under Workers Compensation?

The duration a worker can stay on workers compensation majorly depends on the type of claims a worker files for. It majorly depends on the classification of the disability done by the healthcare provider. 

The healthcare provider gives a certain "rating" to the workers disability level, the amount of compensation he will receive, and the duration for which he would receive the compensation. The rating is based on a percentage scale from 0 to 100. This scale depicts the level of disability or impairment suffered by a worker.

The main aim of this rating is to determine the injury suffered and put the worker, the employer and the insurance provider on the same page. This rating determines whether the worker can return to work and by when. For example, a partially disabled worker would receive a lower rating than a fully disabled worker.

Based on the ratings the disabilities are classified into four: 

  • Temporary
  • Permanent
  • Full
  • Partial

However, as a rule of thumb, workers compensation insurance tenure can be between three and seven years. But, for permanent disability, there is no specific time frame for the same.

In case of temporary disability, workers compensation can be provided until the health care provider shares a report that mentions that the worker is fit and can resume work (even part-time or "light work").

Conclusion

A workers compensation protects not just your employees but also your business. As an employer, simply buying a workers compensation is not enough. It is also vital to learn about the various aspect that goes with it.

Written By: PolicyBazaar - Updated: 16 June 2023

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