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Who is eligible for workers' compensation benefits?

For workers in Fairfield, a common concern is what will happen in the event of workplace injuries that prevent them from being able to work for a period of time. In some instances, these injuries can be catastrophic, sending the worker to the hospital for an extended stay that could cost thousands of dollars. There might be a need for rehabilitative therapy before a person can even hope to return to his job, and even then, returning to work as before may be unlikely if not impossible. These workers will have many questions about what to do next. The State of Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commission offers information on how to proceed:

Question: What should I do in the event of workplace injuries?

Answer: The Workers' Compensation Act is in place to give workers treatment, replace their wages and provide various benefits to help workers who either have been hurt or have become ill on the job. Understanding how to move forward with seeking benefits without being frightened of any fallout or negative reaction from the employer is one of the keys to receiving a favorable outcome.

Question: Who is covered for workers' compensation benefits?

Answer: Almost all employees will receive coverage regardless of the employee's age, citizenship, status as a full or part-time employee, longevity at the company, or work schedule.

Question: Who pays for the coverage?

Answer: Workers' compensation is "no fault." It doesn't matter whose fault the accident or incident was. Workers' compensation benefits are meant to cover for the aftermath. This is true even if the workplace injuries were the fault of the worker or are a result of an occupational disease. Once benefits are awarded, the worker will not have to pay for any treatment and rehabilitation out of pocket.

Question: Who determines whether a worker receives benefits if there is a dispute?

Answer: The state uses a system of commissioners to ensure that an evenhanded decision will be made with neither side having an advantage. This means that a hearing will be held for each side to argue their respective positions with respect to workers' compensation benefits.

Many injuries or illnesses are covered, and workers must be aware of their rights when they are either hurt or sickened as a result of their jobs. A qualified wokers' compensation attorney can help navigate the numerous questions that will arise in an unfortunate and unexpected circumstance with injuries at work.

Source: State of Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commission, "Injured at Work: What to do," Accessed July 28, 2014

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