When a worker is hurt on the job, many assume workers’ compensation will automatically “kick in” immediately. This is not how the system works and employees should understand that benefits are not available immediately. After sustaining an injury on the job, the injured worker must follow certain procedure to ensure benefits will be paid in a timely manner. This included immediately reporting the injury to the appropriate person at your place of employment and seeking treatment right away.
While these are two of the most important steps in properly handling a situation at work where you are hurt, they are not the only steps. Filing a claim and receiving benefits is not a process which happens instantly, therefore you must understand how you will get paid for time off until benefits kick in.
For those workers who have accrued leave such as sick days, vacation days and other paid absences, these benefits may be used as payment until workers’ compensation benefits begin. The rules may vary depending on the state in which you live or specific agreements in your employment contract, however it is common for employers to require the use of accrued leave as payment until workers’ compensation coverage begins.
For those who do not have any type of accrued leave or benefits, it may be up to the employer to either pay for time off as a sort of “good will” gesture or missed time may go unpaid until other benefits kick in. It is important to know how the law works in your state to ensure you are not missing out on benefits to which you are entitled.