If you get injured at work, you can make a claim for workers’ compensation. Through this program, you can receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation training and other forms of compensation.
While the workers’ compensation system helps workers move forward with the recovery process, many myths about this program persist. Understanding these myths can help you navigate the workers’ compensation system with confidence following a workplace accident.
Myth: Only severe injuries qualify for compensation
In 2022, private employers in the U.S. reported 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses, and some of these injuries were severe while others were not. Workers’ compensation covers a range of injuries, including minor ones. From sprains and strains to more serious injuries, if the injury is work-related, it may be eligible for compensation.
Myth: Filing a claim means blaming the employer
Some believe that filing a workers’ compensation claim is akin to blaming the employer for the injury. However, workers’ compensation operates on a no-fault basis. It provides benefits to injured workers regardless of who is responsible for the accident or injury.
Myth: Preexisting conditions disqualify workers
If a work-related incident aggravates or exacerbates a preexisting condition, the worker may still be eligible for compensation. Workers can receive benefits for new injuries or worsened preexisting conditions resulting from work-related incidents.
Myth: Only full-time employees can file claims
Workers’ compensation typically covers employees, regardless of their employment status. If the injury is work-related, part-time and temporary employees may be eligible for compensation.
Myth: Immediate reporting guarantees approval
While prompt reporting of workplace injuries is essential, immediate reporting does not guarantee automatic approval of workers’ compensation benefits. The approval of benefits involves an investigation process, and the outcome depends on factors such as the nature of the injury, medical evidence and adherence to reporting procedures.
Myth: Seeking compensation leads to job loss
Some workers fear that seeking workers’ compensation benefits will result in job loss or retaliation. However, laws generally prohibit employers from retaliating against employees for filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Even if you follow all proper steps and procedures when filing your workers’ compensation claim, it can still get denied. If this happens to you, take action to protect your right to fair and proper compensation.