What is workers’ comp and how do I file a claim?

Getting injured at work is something that all employees should do their best to avoid. After all, it can be costly both to your health and finances to miss work due to an injury. However, if you are accidentally hurt while at work, your employer must cover your medical costs and a portion of your lost wages through a special insurance program called workers’ compensation.

Here’s what you need to know if you get hurt on the job, so you understand your responsibilities in order to receive this benefit.

#1 – Get immediate medical attention for any injuries.

If you experience an injury at work, your duty is to obtain immediate medical care for your physical well-being. If you are hurt badly, call for help and get transported to a medical facility nearby. If you are not sure what to go or if your injury is not serious enough, call your HR department or your temp staffing representative and find out. Failure to get medical treatment for a work related injury can reduce your ability to be productive and to obtain workers’ compensation benefits and medical care.

#2 – Fill out an accident report and be as detailed as possible.

Once you have sought medical treatment for your injury, it then becomes your responsibility to report this to your employer right away. This normally means you must fill out an injury report and talk with the HR department or a member of your staffing agency. Try to be as detailed as possible, explaining what led up to the injury, what the cause was, the time and date it happened, and any medical treatment you received. Give a copy of any medical reports you received at the ER or doctor’s office.

#3 – Follow all directions given to you by your employer.

At this point, you will likely be advised by your employer on next steps. Whether this means seeing a physician for follow-up care or taking time off to follow doctor’s orders to recover – take care and do what your employer advises in order to maintain workers’ compensation coverage. Your job now is to get better so you can return to work. If you are off for more than 7 days, then workers’ compensation short-term disability wages will kick in to cover your living expenses while you get better. If you are required to come back to work on limited duty capacity, follow this order carefully.

#4 – Get healed following the medical treatment plan.

During the time that you are off from your normal work duties, the treating physician will be in charge of your progress. Report to all scheduled appointments, make your recovery better by following all orders, and get the rest and therapy you need. Turn in all medical documents to your employer HR office or the person at your temp service that is handling your workers’ compensation claim. When you are doing this, you will be eligible to continue receiving the care and benefits of workers’ comp and getting better so you can return to work soon.

#5 – Advise your employer of all updates and time off changes.

If your physician advises that you are ready to go back to work sooner or if you need additional time to recover from your work related injury, this information must be reported to your employer as soon as possible. Ask the treating physician to fax over documentation to the HR department. Call your employer and make sure you talk to the workers’ compensation claims the person to update them on changes like this. Failure to report a change can result in loss of benefits or your job.

Remember, that while you are out of work, your employer, including Advance Staffing Solutions an employment agency in MI, has the right to assign your tasks to another employee. When you return, you will be assigned a similar job at the same pay scale but not necessarily the same one. You may have to return to light duty for a period of time, and you may have to take a different job if you are unable to perform the duties of your previous job.




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