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What types of expenses can workers’ compensation benefits cover?

If you suffer an injury on the job that prevents you from earning your typical income, you may be wondering whether you can pursue workers’ compensation benefits through your employer. If you, for example, fall off a ladder, ingest a toxic substance or throw your back out moving heavy machinery, you may have valid concerns about how you will pay for medical care or provide for your family in the aftermath.

Workers’ compensation exists to alleviate such issues and allow you the time you need to recover and, hopefully, return to work.

Determining eligibility

For your work-related injury to qualify you for workers’ compensation, you must have suffered it during work hours. However, your injury did not necessarily have to occur at your place of employment. For example, if you drive a taxi and someone slams into you, causing serious whiplash, workers’ compensation coverage will likely apply to you.

Covered expenses

Typically, you can use workers’ compensation to cover your medical expenditures, whether they relate to treatment, long hospital stays, in-home care or other service. Workers’ compensation also typically allows you a weekly disability payment so you can continue to provide for yourself or your family, although the amount you receive will typically not equate to your full, normal salary. If you pass away because of a work-related accident, your loved ones may be able to obtain workers’ compensation to go toward career training and related expenditures.

Expenses not typically covered

Many people are mistakenly under the impression that you can secure workers’ compensation for pain and suffering relating to your on-the-job accident. This is not, however, the case. The only way for you to pursue compensation for pain and suffering is to file a third-party claim against a person or entity who is not your employer.

Keep in mind that, should you secure workers’ compensation through your place of employment, you give up your right to sue your employer for damages by doing so.

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