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What does workers' compensation insurance cover?

As a Washington worker, the law likely requires your employer to have a workers’ compensation insurance policy in place. This means that if you get injured at work or suffer a work-related illness, your employer’s work comp carrier must pay for your associated medical and other expenses.

Insureon.com explains that, while work comp policies can differ in what they cover, in general you can be assured of having the following four things paid

  1. Your medical costs to treat your immediate injury or illness
  2. Your lost wages resulting from your injury or illness
  3. Your ongoing care necessitated by your injury or illness
  4. Your funeral costs if you die from your injury or illness

Medical costs

Assuming you are a W-2 employee, work comp will cover your initial medical costs including such things as ambulance transportation, emergency room visits, etc.

Lost wages

If you must miss work due to your workplace injury or work-related illness, work comp will cover at least a portion of your lost wages, possibly all of them. Most work comp policies give your employer the option to choose to cover a fixed dollar amount of an employee’s lost wages or a percentage thereof.

Ongoing care

While your medical benefits cover your initial medical costs, your ongoing care benefits cover the costs associated with what happens afterward. For instance, your ongoing care benefiats could cover such things as surgeries, treatment by medical specialists, rehabilitation, physical and/or occupational therapy, etc.

Death benefits

If your injuries or illness results in your death, not only will your death benefits cover the cost of your funeral and burial, they likely also will provide support payments to your family.

Your employer must advise you of exactly what workers’ compensation benefits you are entitled to. Consequently, if the worst happens and you suffer an injury or come down with a work-related illness, you will know ahead of time what types of things your employer’s work comp pays for you.

This is general educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.

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