How long can you stay out on worker’s comp? If you’re asking yourself this question, make sure you keep reading below to learn more.

You can help employees when they need it the most and ensure that your company remains in compliance by understanding workers compensation rules. 

Worker’s compensation protects your employees and your business. This insurance supports workers who become injured during an accident.  Without workers comp, companies and employees could face severe financial pressure when things go wrong. 

If an employee gets hurt on the job, you may ask yourself, “How long can you stay out on workers comp?” 

To learn the facts about workers compensation and how long employees can remain absent, continue reading. 

Precisely What Is Worker’s Comp? 

People may use the terms workmen’s comp, workmen’s compensation, or workers comp interchangeably when talking about this benefit. No matter what you call it, workers comp protects employees from potentially devastating financial circumstances after an accident. 

Without insurance, employers may have to pay a huge amount of money out-of-pocket. Workers comp also protects employers from damage that could harm or even shut down a business. Accordingly, it’s vital to understand the ins and outs of the benefit. 

As an employer or human resource professional, you may have a lot of questions about worker’s compensation. In general, it covers medical expenses when employees get injured on the job. 

Workers comp covers employees if they become hurt or sick. It can also cover lost wages and expenses for ongoing care. In the unfortunate event that an employee passes due to a work-related accident, workers comp also cover sfuneral expenses. 

Worker’s Comp Doesn’t Cover Everything 

Worker’s compensation does not provide for every scenario. The rules regarding worker’s comp coverage are different from state to state. Legislators decide how worker’s comp rules apply in their district. 

There are, however, some scenarios that workers comp doesn’t cover in most states. For instance, workers comp does not protect employees who are injured while starting a physical altercation. 

Worker’s compensation usually doesn’t cover emotional injuries that they didn’t receive at the same time as physical ones. Also, the benefit does not cover employees who are injured on the job while drinking. It also does not cover employees who hurt themselves on purpose to collect the benefit. 

Even employers who don’t provide other employee benefits typically pay to cover workers compensation insurance. Many states require employers to provide worker’s compensation for their staff. 

There are, however, a couple of exceptions. It’s voluntary for employers to provide coverage in the states of Texas and New Jersey. 

Employees are not responsible for paying for workers compensation benefits. As with any other insurance, the cost for workers compensation insurance depends on various factors. 

These factors may include the size of your business as well as the risk associated with the work completed by your employees. State laws may also influence the cost of workers comp for your employees. The industry that you participate in may also affect the cost of paying for workers compensation benefits. 

How Long Can You Stay Out on Worker’s Comp? 

The length of time that workers can collect worker’s compensation also varies by state. The duration of worker’s compensation can vary depending on the type of claim that a worker files. There are a few different types of workers compensation, including: 

• Temporary

• Permanent

• Full

• Partial 

If an employee asks, “How long can you stay on workers comp?”  or “How long is workers comp?” the answer is three to seven years as a rule of thumb. However, there is typically no time limit for permanent disability. 

An employee may also ask you, “How long do workers comp claims take?” As an employer, you’re responsible for providing workers compensation within a reasonable time. This time varies by state but typically falls between 14 and 30 days. 

If a worker is on permanent disability, and you’re wondering, “How long does workman’s comp last?” – or “How long does workers comp pay?” the answer in most states is indefinite. Although, some states stop benefits once individuals turn 65 years old. 

Additionally, not all states provide permanent partial disability benefits. If a worker becomes disabled after an accident, there are two ways to classify their claim: temporary or permanent benefits or total or partial benefits. 

How Do Staff Members Apply for Worker’s Comp? 

It’s essential to file a workers compensation claim as soon as possible. You must report an injury or illness in several instances. 

For example, you must always report when an employee gets injured at work. You must report when an employee becomes sick because of work they’ve completed on the job. You must also report when workers get hurt while completing job-related tasks. 

If an employee gets hurt, you must also make sure that they receive medical attention. For instance, you may need to call an ambulance or take them to the emergency room. If an employee needs time off to heal, you must grant that time. 

Before you can file a claim, you must gather several vital pieces of information. For instance, you’ll need to collect general business information, such as your: 

• Company name

• Insurer account number

• Location

• Workers comp policy number 

You also need to gather information about the employee. This information might include their: 

• Address

• Age

• Date of birth

• Gender

• Name

• Phone number

• Social Security number

• Other relevant information 

You’ll also need to gather details about the incident. This information might include: 

• Cause of injury

• Date of event

• Estimated return date

• Estimated time off work

• Injured body part

• Nature of injury

• Witnesses

• Other relevant information 

Once you’ve collected all this information, you should submit the worker’s compensation claim as soon as possible. 

What Happens When Employees Want to Return? 

Ideally, an injured employee can eventually return to work. However, there are several criteria that they must meet before doing so. 

As an employer, you naturally want an employee to return to work as soon as possible. The sooner an employee returns, the sooner you can stop paying worker’s compensation benefits. 

It’s essential not to rush employees back to work. You must continue to pay workers compensation insurance as long as employees aren’t well enough to perform their duties. 

For an employee to return to the job, the physician must enter a Notice of Ability to Return to Work letter. This letter means that the physician has cleared the employee to return to work with certain limitations and restrictions. 

When an employee receives this clearance, that does not necessarily mean that they must return. They’re only required to return if the suggested work fits the restrictions outlined by the doctor. 

In some instances, you can help employees return to work early by allowing them to perform light duty. However, doing it the right way can prove complex. Click here to find out how to take the complexity and risk out of allowing employees to reenter the workplace after an injury. 

What If a Worker Decides to Change Jobs During Their Absence? 

In some cases, a worker may choose to resign while they’re out on worker’s comp. For the employee, this can have both negative and positive outcomes. As an employer or HR exec, this may let you off the hook for some expenses, but not all. 

From one perspective, the employee may lose some of their benefits if they choose to work for another employer. At the same time, they may make more money. 

Ideally, it’s in the best interest of all parties involved for the employee to stay with the company where they were injured while they’re collecting worker’s compensation. No matter what an employee decides, you may have to continue paying benefits until their worker’s compensation claim ends. 

Employees are entitled to three basic benefits, which are wage replacement, medical treatment, and permanent disability compensation. Employees receive wage benefits when their physician recommends lighter limited duty. In this instance, you must pay the employee two-thirds of their weekly wage. 

As for medical benefits, you or your company will remain responsible for all medical expenses related to the accident. These responsibilities might include prescriptions, travel expenses to and from the doctor, and the cost of doctor visits. 

Finally, you may also incur expenses for maintaining employee benefits. Again, this rule varies by state. 

Staying Informed: Keeping up With the Latest Business News 

Now you know the answer to “How long can you stay out on workers comp?” and other essential facts about worker’s compensation. Hopefully, all your employees will stay healthy and productive for the foreseeable future. 

There are, however, a lot of other aspects of business where up-to-the-minute information is highly beneficial. Check out the rest of the site to stay on top of the latest emerging trends in commerce.