What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover, Exactly?
You’ve been injured at work, and you’ve heard that workers’ compensation will cover your bills. But what does workers’ compensation cover, exactly?
Let’s have a look at what workers’ compensation covers. You might be surprised by the types of compensation offered by the program.
This is one of the most well-known and important benefits of workers’ compensation. Health care is extremely expensive, and most people who have been injured at work need help paying for their medical bills.
Workers’ compensation covers hospital and medical expenses necessary to diagnose and treat your injury or illness. This includes the following:
- Hospital stays
- Doctor visits
- Diagnostic exams
- Medical equipment (such as a wheelchair)
- Pain management
In Ohio, you are allowed to choose your own health care provider, as long as he or she is certified by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.
It’s important to point out that workers’ compensation generally does not cover experimental treatments. If you or your doctor believe that an experimental treatment would help in your case, it’s best to talk to a lawyer to see if you can get the treatment covered.
Rehabilitation and Re-Education
Some workplace illnesses or injuries prevent a person from immediately returning to work. If this is your case, workers’ compensation can pay for your rehabilitation. Rehabilitation includes medical and therapeutic care (like physical therapy) needed for you to regain your ability to do your job.
If your injury or illness permanently prevents you from returning to your former job (but you are still able to work), rehabilitation includes training, tuition, and other expenses necessary to allow you to find a different job.
If your injury or illness has resulted in a disability, workers’ compensation covers this. There are four main types of disability benefits, depending on the type and duration of your disability:
Temporary partial disability: Your injury or illness prevents you from doing some parts of your job; however, you will be able to fully perform all parts of your job in the future.
Temporary total disability: Your illness or injury prevents you from doing any part of your job right now, but you will be able to return to your job in the future.
Permanent partial disability: Your illness or injury causes permanent damage that will forever prevent you from doing some parts of your job.
Permanent total disability: Your illness or injury causes permanent damage that prevents you from ever returning to your job. Note that you don’t have to be helpless to be classified as having a permanent total disability. You just have to have an injury or illness that doesn’t allow you to work at your former job or a similar job.
If an injury or illness has left you with a disability, you should know that you may have several types of compensation available to you. In addition to workers’ compensation, you may be able to collect benefits from Social Security Disability. This is because workers’ compensation is a state program, while Social Security Disability is a federal program. You may have earned compensation through both programs through your employment and Social Security taxes.
If your loved one has passed away due to a workplace injury or illness, you may be able to apply for workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation covers burial expenses, allowing you to give your loved one a proper funeral. In addition to funeral costs, this program is designed to compensate for the financial support lost to the deceased’s family.
People who may collect benefits through workers’ compensation include any dependent of the deceased person, including the following:
- Dependent children under the age of 18
- Dependent children between the ages of 18 and 25 who are attending an educational institution full-time
- Dependent children 18 years of age or older who have a physical or mental disability
In Ohio, this benefit is ongoing. Family members receive this benefit until they are no longer eligible.
If your loved one had already settled a workers’ compensation claim for his or her injuries, that does not mean that you can’t file a workers’ compensation claim for his or her death. You may file at any time within two years of the death.
In addition to the benefits above, there are a number of other benefits available for special circumstances. For example, firefighters, police officers, miners, and others who are exposed to hazardous materials and develop an illness as a result may be able to collect benefits to allow them to change jobs, if they have been advised by their doctor to do so.
Workers’ compensation offers a wide range of benefits to help the injured worker. If you have been injured, you should know that you do not automatically receive these benefits. Applying for and receiving workers’ compensation benefits can be a long and difficult process. After a work-related injury, it’s a good idea to talk to a workers’ compensation attorney to learn whether you qualify and the types of benefits you might earn under this program.
Contact the workers’ compensation attorneys at Casper & Casper for a free consultation. We are located in Cincinnati, Dayton, Hamilton, and Middletown for your convenience. We’ll answer all your questions, and, if you choose our firm, we will handle your case for you—so you can focus on getting well.