Workers’ compensation is a system designed to protect employees who suffer injuries or illnesses on the job.
However, there are several misconceptions surrounding this process.
Workers’ compensation only covers accidents
In 2022, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 2,804,200 work injuries and illnesses and 5,486 work-related deaths. However, one common misconception is that workers’ compensation only applies to injuries resulting from accidents. It also covers occupational diseases and illnesses caused by exposure to harmful substances at the workplace. If individuals can link a condition to their jobs job, they may have access to compensation, even if the condition develops gradually.
Workers cannot file a claim for pre-existing conditions
Some believe that if they have a pre-existing condition, they cannot file a workers’ compensation claim. This is not entirely accurate. If a work-related incident aggravates a pre-existing condition, these individuals may still be eligible for compensation. A medical professional can establish the connection between job tasks and the worsening of their condition.
Workers need to be at fault to receive compensation
Another misconception is that workers cannot be at fault for their injuries to qualify for compensation. Workers’ compensation is a “no-fault” system. Therefore, it does not matter who caused the injury or accident. As long as the injury occurred while performing work-related duties, the employee should receive benefits.
Employers can retaliate against injured workers
Some workers fear that reporting an injury or filing a workers’ compensation claim may lead to retaliation from their employers. Employers cannot legally retaliate against employees for seeking benefits. Workers should not hesitate to report injuries for fear of repercussions.
Clearing up these common misconceptions about workers’ compensation helps employees learn about and accept their rights. Then, they can confidently navigate the process and receive the compensation they deserve after a workplace injury or illness.