Questions To Ask Your Employer About Worker’s Compensation

Worker’s compensation for most people is an abstract concept that is difficult to get excited about.  In reality, worker’s compensation is a vital component to employee protection and should be given serious consideration when seeking employment.  There are several questions every employee should ask their employer regarding workers compensation.

Do you have a Current Workers Compensation policy?

It may seem to be an odd question, but it is necessary.  Employers are made up from every walk of life.  A new first-time business owner may not know they are required to carry insurance and fail to have a policy.  You should make sure there is a policy and that it is up to date.

How many claims have you had?

An employer that has been in business for any length of time and has a significant number of employees has some history.  If there are a large number of claims, it should raise a red flag that there are some safety concerns, and you should look into the safety policies of the company.  If there are no claims or the company seems disgruntled with the question the policy may be so exclusive that it does not cover anything beyond the bare minimum state requirements.

What does your policy cover?

Policies vary based on the amount of coverage an employer wants to provide in relation to what the states require.  Different states have different rates and protections.  Most, if not all, states require posting of the worker’s compensation policies and coverages.

How do I file a claim?

This particular question is the one that has to be asked carefully.  While an employer cannot discriminate for a medical disability, they can get the impression that you are looking for a nefarious lawsuit.  The question should be asked for claims processing so that you can determine that the practices of the company are not designed to prevent you from access to coverage.   If you have to report to a company official, it may diminish your comfort level and feeling of job security.  Make sure the company has a vested interest in your welfare.

Can I Choose My Own Doctor or Do I Have To Use One of Yours?

Worker’s compensation plans often have a specific list of doctors that you are permitted to go see, but others are more flexible. Find this out in advance so you don’t find yourself being treated by a doctor thinking you’re covered by worker’s compensation only to discover yourself in a legal battle. This doesn’t necessarily mean a compromise on quality however, there are many good doctors covered under worker’s compensation such as those who work for WorkFlow Employer Services.

Where are the Worker’s Compensation rules posted?

The federal government requires that rules be posted for employees to access.  The Department of Labor and OSHA oversee the injury process and work with states to promote safe work environments.  Part of the partnership has resulted in requirements upon employers to communicate employee rights in conspicuous manners.  Most employer break rooms will have a laminated poster with necessary information displayed.

Is there a supplemental extended insurance plan available through the company in addition to the workers compensation?

Most companies that offer medical insurance offer programs that will further insulate the employee against injury pay losses.  If an employee purchases an extended coverage that allows them to receive wages through the employer’s insurance, there is a value added benefit to working for that company.  Not every organization offers extended coverage plans.  If they do, seek out the price plan for affordability.

How do the different injuries affect my Job?

Various injuries with different rankings will possibly require you to fill a different position when you return to work.  Try to establish a good working knowledge of the return to work policies and determine what extent the company will go through to retain you as a valued employee.

Worker’s compensation does not have to be a bad conversation with an employer.  Approach it with a mature perspective and ask questions in a way that do not elevate the concerns of a business to deep seated suspicions.  In the very least, confirm the company has a policy so you can protect your family in the event of an on the job injury

The author, Ray Donato, has dealt with on-the-job injuries in a previous job and learned the hard way how important it is to get your information ahead of time. If you wish to learn more about Ray you can visit on Google+.