If you have a job where an injury is even the slightest possibility, it is your responsibility to understand how the workers’ compensation system functions. If you ever find yourself injured as a result of doing your job, you will need to know what to do. However, it is natural to have questions. In fact, most people do not fully understand workers’ comp. One of the most common questions is about who actually provides the benefits. The answer is more complicated than you might think.
The Two Systems
The reason this question is not better understood is that there are two different answers. Workers’ comp is handled on a state-by-state basis, which means the exact answer depends on which state you work in. It is important to note that it is the state that you work in, rather than the one you live in, that matters. If you travel out of state to go to your job, you will need to keep this in mind.
There are two different systems that workers’ comp can follow. These two systems are:
- State-run agency
- Private coverage providers
In the first system, there is a dedicated agency that handles workers’ comp cases. The agency is run by the state, which means it is the state that provides the benefits. If your state falls under this system, your employer will submit the case to the state, and you will receive compensation for your injury directly.
In the second system, workers’ comp benefits are handled by private companies. This system functions essentially in the exact same way as insurance. Your employer is required by the state to select a workers’ comp company and pay regular premiums to provide workers’ comp coverage to all his or her employees at all times. While the coverage does come from the workers’ comp private company, because your employer pays for this coverage, it is almost like the coverage is provided by your employer.
Filing a Claim
It is a good idea for you to understand which system is in place for the state you work in. However, the system does not really affect what you need to do to file a claim. In either system, the action that is required of you is to report the injury to your employer. It is largely the responsibility of the employer to file the claim, whether it is with the state agency or with a private company. If you feel your workers’ comp rights have been violated, you should speak with a workers’ comp attorney, like a workers compensation Attorneys in Milwaukee, WI, today.
Thank you to Hickey & Turim SC for their input into personal injury law.