Workers’ compensation provides important coverage for employees when they are injured on the job. This coverage can help an injured worker to have an income while he or she must be off of work because of the injury. It also provides for the employee to get medical care for the injuries he or she suffered. Employees should make sure that they have a basic understanding of workers’ compensation coverage before they actually need to apply for the compensation.

Workers’ compensation will cover most workplace accidents, but not all workplace accidents. Generally, a person who is injured on the job will have to submit to a drug and alcohol test when he or she seeks medical care. If the test is positive, there is a good chance that workers’ compensation coverage won’t apply. By the same token, an injury that is self-inflicted, that was done on purpose, injuries that occur because the worker violated the law or company policy and those that don’t occur while the employee was working likely wouldn’t be eligible for workers’ compensation coverage.

Workers’ compensation coverage can be sought for accidental injuries, as well as progressive injuries. For example, a progressive back injury caused by on-the-job activities would likely qualify for workers’ compensation.

A worker who qualifies for workers’ compensation is eligible for more than just medical care and partial wage replacement. In some cases, workers’ compensation will pay for the cost of retraining the employee to do something else if he or she isn’t able to return to his or her previous job duties. It can also cover survivor benefits if the accident was fatal and disability coverage if the injuries are long-term.

Source: FindLaw, “Workers' Comp Benefits Explained,” accessed April 22, 2016