Charles Spinelli: More Information on Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation (worker comp or workers’ comp) is a federal program. Charles Spinelli explains that this program gives benefits to employees who become ill or get injured on the job. Worker’s comp is a disability insurance program that provides healthcare benefits, cash benefits, or both to workers who get hurt as a direct result of doing their jobs.
In the United States, states typically handle workers’ compensation. The required benefits vary from state to state.
It is worth noting that Texas is the only state that does not mandate employers to offer workers’ compensation insurance. Additionally, in some states, not all employees are covered by worker’s comp, and small businesses may be entirely exempt from this requirement.
In the U.S., the Department of Labor has the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs. This office covers federal employees, energy employees, dockers and harbor workers, and coal miners.
However, the lack of clear standards for workers’ comp has resulted in varied policies for similar types of injuries from state to state. For example, identical injuries could receive different compensation packages depending on where a person lives. It is estimated that half of workplace illness and injury costs are shouldered by the workers who suffer them. Often, immigrant and low-income workers don’t even apply for benefits.
Below, Charles Spinelli looks at some of the benefits of worker’s comp.
1. Workers’ compensation may be a substitute for lost salary.
Under workers’ compensation, the salary replacement paid to an employee may typically be less than the worker’s full salary. That said, some states pay up to about two-thirds of the employee’s gross salary. Charles Spinelli says that in other situations, workers may also receive the equivalent of paid sick days during their medical leave.
Workers’ comp benefits are usually non-taxable at the state or federal level. Taxes may be due to individuals with income from the Social Security Disability programs.
2. Workers’ compensation may be used to reimburse medical expenses.
Most compensation programs offer coverage of medical expenses only for workers who are injured doing their work. For example, a construction worker may claim compensation for an injury or injuries suffered in a fall on the construction site but not for an injury incurred while driving home in their car.
3. Workers’ compensation may be used for survivors of the employee.
Workers’ compensation also provides financial support to the dependents of a worker in case of a work-related accident resulting in the worker’s death, according to Charles Spinelli.
Important reminder: When you accept workers’ comp, you also waive your right to sue your employer for negligence. This compensation bargain also aims to protect both workers and employers.
Workers give up legal recourse in exchange for compensation, while employers guarantee compensation while avoiding the potentially higher cost of a negligence lawsuit.
Charles Spinelli shares important information on human resources in his blogs. Read them on this page.