How Can I Claim Workers' Compensation?

May 11, 2010

Computer injuries on rise
Image by mike lowe via Flickr

Have you ever read the Workers’ Compensation section of your employee handbook? How about all those posters covering the break room walls?

No? Don’t worry, you’re still covered.

According to the Kentucky’s Workers’ Compensation Program, their mission is to:

  • Restore an income stream to an injured employee to the extent it has been severed by an industrial injury or occupational disease
  • Provide timely medical services for the cure or relief of the injury
  • Provide rehabilitation and retraining services to injured workers unable to return to their jobs

Kentucky requires that your employer provide Workers’ Compensation coverage to every employee on its payroll. The state also requires that you perform certain duties if you sustain an injury on the job. You must immediately report the injury and take steps not to aggravate it.

In order to make a claim, the injury must have occurred within the scope of your employment, and not be the result of actions which don’t pertain to the job. For example, getting injured in an accident while driving to a customer’s location would be within the scope of your employment; getting inured during horseplay on the job may not.

If the injury is work-related and verified by a doctor to require more than one week off work, you may qualify for benefits.

Workers’ Compensation provides both medical and income benefits. In fact, your employer must pay all reasonable and necessary expenses regardless of whether you miss work. And, your employer is responsible for paying all reasonable and necessary medical bills related to the injury.

Predictably, employer’s insurance carriers often bring in their own doctors to dispute whether certain treatments are “reasonable and necessary”.

Workers’ Compensation income benefits are approximately two thirds of your average weekly wage up to a state maximum amount while you are totally disabled. Then, once you reach “maximum medical improvement” (the degree to which you can physically recover), you’ll be assigned an impairment rating which determines the amount of long-term compensation you receive.

Kentucky’s Workers’ Compensation Program is committed to protecting both the health and income of its citizens. You can do your part by staying informed on the benefits available. No one wants to get injured on the job, but it’s reassuring to know that you’re covered if you do.

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