When people think of the cost of getting injured on the job, they often think about medical bills. Say you fall from a ladder. You need emergency crews to come with an ambulance and take you to the ER. There, they determine that you have a spinal cord injury and you need weeks of in-hospital treatment, followed by months of recovery and rehab at home.

It’s clear that the medical bills from something like this are going to be extravagant. It’s a serious injury, you needed emergency treatment — which always increases the costs — and it’s going to take a long time before you’re better.

But there’s another side to this, as well: the time itself. If you’re in the hospital for weeks and at home for months, the bills don’t stop. You still have to pay the mortgage. Your family still has to eat. You have to keep the lights on. Without an income, all of the things you take for granted become more complicated. How do you pay the bills — and not just the hospital bills?

5 areas of workers’ comp

The good news is that workers’ compensation goes far beyond just your medical bills. There are five main areas that it can help with, which are as follows:

  1. Paying for your medical bills and the care you needed.
  2. Replacing the income that you lost while you couldn’t work.
  3. Helping you with the cost of injuries that are permanent and will never heal.
  4. Retraining you so that you can work again, if necessary.
  5. Giving benefits to your family if you pass away on the job or due to the injuries suffered at work.

As you can see, this means there are two ways that workers’ comp helps you pay the bills. It can directly replace your lost income, or a portion of it, after the injury. It can also cover the cost of training you to do a different job if you can’t return to your original job, which means you can start earning money again in the future.

Your options

If you have been hurt on the job and you’re worried about the financial side of it, just make sure you know what rights and options you have.