The workers’ compensation system came about as a sort of compromise between employers and their workers. In exchange for not suing your boss over a work-related injury, your employer provides insurance to cover your medical needs and replace lost income.
The vast majority of employees are covered under the workers’ compensation system. Employers with even one employee must pay into the system, and even part-time and seasonal workers are covered.
What injuries are covered by workers’ comp?
Nearly all workplace injuries are eligible for workers’ compensation insurance coverage. However, several conditions must be met to qualify for compensation in Philadelphia and other Pennsylvania cities:
- Your injury must be work-related and have occurred while you were on duty to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
- You must report the injury within 21 days of the accident. When injury symptoms are delayed (ionizing radiation harm, etc.), the timing of the claim does not start until the worker knows he or she is injured.
- You must seek a medical opinion and follow all physician orders to remain eligible for benefits.
You may also receive compensation if you suffer an illness associated with your job. For example, if medical workers contract contagious diseases like hepatitis by performing their duties, they qualify for benefits. Other potentially eligible illnesses include:
- Heart and lung diseases in firefighters
- Lung and respiratory diseases in those who work around coal dust
- Chemical poisoning in individuals exposed to dangerous substances in their work
Although most workers’ compensation claims proceed smoothly, some injured workers have trouble accessing their benefits. Those who receive a notice denying their claims can find a solution by seeking experienced legal guidance. Further, if an employer tries to interfere with your right to file a claim, the law can help you get the benefits you are due.