Worker’s Compensation is a type of insurance that is designed to protect both employers and employees when someone is injured on the job. The process is simple. Each workplace is required to pay premiums to an insurance carrier. When an employee gets hurt on the job, they file a claim. Worker’s compensation pays the injured employee’s medical bills and compensates them for lost wages. Following is an explanation of how this program works in Wisconsin.
The first step to filing a claim is to determine whether or not you are eligible. Almost everyone in the state of Wisconsin is covered by worker’s compensation. The exceptions are
- domestic workers such as maid, cooks, drivers, etc
- some farm employees
- volunteers as long as they don’t receive more than $10 per week in compensation
- certified religious employees from qualified organizations
There are other worker’s compensation programs that cover federal employees, interstate railroads, and people who work on sea vessels. These employees would file claims through their own individual programs.
The next step is to notify your employer immediately if you are injured on the job. Delaying reporting the injury to your employer could result in your claim being denied, and could negatively impact your health. Even if you don’t think you need to see a doctor, you should still report the injury.
If you do incur medical bills, the employer notifies their insurance carrier, and the insurance carrier files all the appropriate paperwork with the Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation Division. The insurance carrier will write a check for any medical expenses and lost wages if you are off work for more than 3 days. The first 3 days are not covered unless your doctor orders you off work for 7 or more days.
If your claim is denied either partly or in full, you still have options. Your claim can be reviewed by a specialist in the Alternative Dispute Resolution Unit (ADR), or you can request a formal hearing with an Administrative Law Judge. The next step is the Labor and Industry Review Commission (LIRC) and then finally to circuit court.
The worker’s compensation program is designed to protect workers from injuries that happen on the job. The most important thing to remember is to notify your employer immediately if you get injured while you are working.