Know when an injury is compensable under workers' compensation

Workers' compensation is a program that can be a considerable help to workers who suffer an injury at work. The question then comes up about what injuries qualify for benefits. There are some basic points that are considered when trying to figure out if something is compensable.

One of the most important things in these cases is whether you were working when you were injured. You can only get workers' compensation if you are at work or performing work-related duties when you are injured. If you are clocked in and going to the bank with a deposit, you might qualify for workers' compensation if you are in an accident.

Another consideration is your status. Are you an employee or an independent contractor? Employees will qualify for workers' compensation coverage, but independent contractors won't. This is a big factor since it is determined long before the accident.

Contrary to what some people believe, you don't have to be employed for a specific amount of time to be covered. Even on the first hour of your first day with an employer, you are covered by workers' compensation coverage.

It is possible to qualify for workers' compensation for conditions that don't stem from a single incident. Carpal tunnel syndrome, for example, would be compensable as long as it occurred because you were doing your job duties. This might be the case for a cashier who constantly has to scan items.

Workers' compensation coverage isn't always easy to obtain. You might have to deal with a denial or even lesser benefits than you should receive. In these cases, an appeal might be in order.

Source: FindLaw, "5 Common Questions About Which Injuries Qualify for Workers' Compensation," George Khoury, Esq., accessed April 20, 2018

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