What are workers’ compensation benefits?

Learn about the top 5 services and reimbursements covered by workers’ comp insurance.

Meg Furey-Marquess
By Meg Furey-Marquess
Published Sep 19, 2023
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While exact requirements and exemptions for workers’ compensation insurance vary from state to state, workers compensation benefits are very similar.

Workers’ comp insurance is one of the most crucial types of insurance because it helps protect businesses and business owners from the expenses of employees who get injured or fall ill from work-related events.

Nearly every state legally requires companies to have it. Even sole proprietors can benefit from workers’ comp.

Workers’ compensation benefits mostly fall into five categories:

  1. Medical benefits
  2. Disability and wage replacement benefits
  3. Vocational rehabilitation benefits
  4. Death benefits and survivors benefits
  5. Employers liability benefits

Read on to learn about the coverage and meaning of each of the workers’ comp benefits.  And learn what kind of services or payment can be made to covered employees who get ill or injured on the job.

NEXT can help make filing a workers’ comp claim easy. We’ll walk you through that, too.

Medical benefits

If an employee gets injured on the job, workers’ compensation insurance can help cover their medical costs. This may include:

  • Doctor visits
  • Hospital and emergency room visits
  • Medical tests
  • Surgery
  • Prescription medications
  • Therapy and rehabilitation
  • Medical equipment, such as wheelchairs or crutches

If an employee needs ongoing care after an injury, workers’ comp will generally cover those costs.

The specifics of covered care vary from state to state, especially alternative medicine such as acupuncture, homeopathic medicine or other non-standard care.

Disability and wage replacement benefits

Workers’ comp can compensate employees for the wages they miss while in recovery from a work-related injury or illness. This benefit, including its duration and amount, is based on four sub-classifications of the injured employee, including:

1. Temporary partial disability (TPD)

This classification means that the injury doesn’t stop an employee from working, but they’re forced to work in a diminished capacity until they recover. For example, if an employee breaks their wrist on the job, they may be able to complete some tasks, but not all of the tasks they handled before they were injured.

2. Temporary total disability (TTD)

An injury can make it impossible for an employee to do their job in any capacity while they recover. In this case, the word “temporary” in TTD means that the disability will end after a certain period of healing, and the employee will return to their pre-injury work. Once the employee recovers/rehabs, they’ll probably be able to resume their job at 100%.

3. Permanent partial disability (PPD)

In some cases, an employee can return to work after recovery from their injury is complete, but they’re not able to work at the same capacity as before. A construction worker who loses a limb may qualify for PPD because they can continue working, but not at the same tasks or capacity as they could pre-injury.

4. Permanent total disability (PTD)

If the injury an employee sustains is so significant that they can never expect to work again, they qualify for PTD. Injuries of this magnitude include life-changing incapacities, such as total blindness or the loss of more than one limb.

Vocational rehabilitation benefits

If an injury prevents an employee from returning to their previous job, some workers’ compensation benefits can help employees retrain for a new career.

Vocational rehabilitation can assist employees to learn new skills or job training. This benefit could also include career support services, such as career counseling and assistance in finding new employment.

Death benefits and survivor benefits

If an employee dies due to a job-related injury, workers’ comp insurance can provide death benefits for the employee’s spouse, children, parents or other beneficiaries. Survivor’s benefits could also cover funeral costs and loss of income.

Employers liability benefits

Employers liability insurance and workers’ comp insurance are often confused, but in truth they work together.

At NEXT, employers liability is included with workers’ compensation insurance. It’s an essential protection to help protect your business from financial loss if an employee files a lawsuit against your business because of a work-related injury or illness.

A workers’ comp policy can help cover the costs of employee recovery after a work-related illness or injury. But if an injured employee sues for further damages such as pain and suffering, employers liability can help protect the employer.

It’s important for business owners to read their policy document and state regulations carefully to know exactly what is provided with their workers’ comp insurance.

How NEXT makes filing a workers’ comp claims easy

If an employee gets injured, the first step is to take care of them and help them get the care they need. After that, file a workers’ comp claim ASAP.

NEXT makes it easy to file a claim 24/7 via web or app.

If you’re looking for options in workers’ comp coverage, start a custom quote, buy online and access your certificate of insurance in about 10 minutes.

Start a free instant quote with NEXT today.

Meg Furey-Marquess
About the author

Meg Furey-Marquess is an experienced writer from Austin, Texas. With a special interest in both small business and personal finance, she believes that big ideas often start small. With a knack for narrative and a relentlessly curious nature, her goal is to amplify the “little guys.”

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