A large section of the workforce is involved in blue-collar jobs. These people give shape to vital infrastructure projects or help manufacture products for our consumption. The nature of their work leaves such workers exposed to various kinds of physical hazards. It is common for people to get hurt at construction sites or a mechanical workshop. In this article, we are discussing the main types of workers compensation benefits that injured staff members are entitled to. These facilities help them in taking care of the financial repercussions of an injury. In many cases, a worker is rendered permanently disabled or dead. These benefits provide a support system to the affected person or his family. However, the awareness of this welfare mechanism is poor. Not everyone contacts the building trades council of their area or their union to know about their entitlement. Here are the major benefits that can be awarded under workers’ compensation.
1. Medical Care Benefits
Workers’ compensation can be used to pay all medical-related expenses including hospital bills. The exact details of the costs covered by the facility vary from one jurisdiction to another. However, you can expect it to cover expenses related to doctor visits, medication, and surgery. It can also be used to pay for a piece of special equipment such as a wheelchair that you need to cope up with the injury. You must remember that advance authorisation is needed so that the compensation can be used for settling medical expenses. However, no such prior approval is required for handling the bills related to emergency care.
Another important point to note is that the facility can be used to pay for only acceptable medical practices. People opting for experimental methods or alternative therapy may need to pay the expenses from their own pockets. In some cases, measures like counseling or pain therapy are covered by the compensation. There are different laws in each state for choosing the medical facility for the injured person’s treatment. In some states, it is the prerogative of the employer while in others the worker is allowed to make the decision.
2. Disability Benefits
The provision of disability benefits has been included to compensate a person for the time he cannot work due to injury or a medical condition. Depending on the nature of the disability, these benefits are further divided into four categories. A temporary total disability prevents a person from discharging his duties completely but for a limited duration. This means that workers are entitled to receive financial compensation while they recover from a medical condition. The payments will be stopped once the person has recovered or if it is medically proven that the individual cannot make a full recovery. In some jurisdictions, there are restrictions on the time period up to which benefits can be paid. People who are suffering from a temporary partial disability are able to discharge some part of their duties. They usually are compensated for the reduced wages.
Permanent partial disability means that the individual is permanently disabled but his condition has partially impaired his working ability. Such people are paid compensation for their disability but there is a limitation on the duration up to which they can receive the monetary benefits. Permanent total disability means that the worker cannot work forever. The rules for awarding the compensation for such cases are different in every state and it will be pertinent to get in touch with workers compensation lawyers in an area to know about them.
3. Rehabilitation Benefits
The third category of workers’ compensation benefits is related to rehabilitation. Some people may need to undergo rehabilitative therapies or other associated processes after their medical treatment. These steps are necessary to ensure that they make a full or partial recovery from their condition. For instance, physiotherapy sessions after surgery will be covered by the compensation. Any caregiving exercise that helps an individual regain his earlier abilities will be paid for by the benefit. In some jurisdictions, if a person cannot return to his previous job because of the medical condition, he can get vocational rehabilitation or a similar facility to get training for another profession.
4. Death Benefits
In case, a person dies from a work-related injury or medical condition, then his/ her family is entitled to death benefits. People who were financially dependent on the individual will receive compensation. Death benefits are meant to help the dependants of the deceased who are affected by the loss of financial support. They can also be used to cover some funeral expenses. In most states, the amount is calculated as a percentage of the deceased’s earnings. The rule differs from one state to another. In some locations, a specified sum is paid to the dependants while in other maximum and minimum amounts have been defined.
It is important that you know about the different types of workers’ compensation benefits that are available to affected people. You can also contact your union to get more information. For instance, a construction worker can contact the local 1 bricklayers union to know about the facilities.