What Benefits Does Workers' Compensation Provide?

What should you expect to receive if you are approved for workers' comp benefits?

Updated by , Attorney · UC Law San Francisco

Workers' compensation is a benefit system designed to help workers who have become injured or sick due to their work conditions or environment.

A worker who becomes sick or injured as a result of their working environment and is approved for workers' comp benefits can generally expect to receive benefits covering a number of areas.

Range of Workers' Comp Benefits

Below are some of the expenses and services workers' comp might cover if you suffer a workplace injury. Because each state operates its own workers' comp system with its own rules, the extent of coverage in your state might vary.

  • Payment for medical treatment and expenses. This includes initial emergency care, follow-up treatment with doctors, physical rehabilitation visits, and transportation expenses).
  • Payment for time off work for recovery. Typically this is a weekly benefit of 66.67% of a worker's average weekly earnings and doesn't last more than two years.
  • Payment for any permanent impairment. Many work-related injuries result in a permanent physical impairment that affects the worker's ability to do certain jobs. Even a minor injury can qualify for a small permanent disability payment.
  • Vocational rehabilitation services. If the worker needs to change jobs or fields, most states pay for some job retraining or re-education.
  • Payment of benefits in the event of death. A deceased workers' dependents are entitled to burial expenses and a lump-sum payment in most states.

Unfortunately, workers' compensation is a system whose outcomes can be unfair to sick and injured workers, especially in certain states.

Some employers discourage workers from making claims for workers' compensation benefits, and many employers' insurance companies deny worker's comp claims as a matter of course.

It can be difficult to get the benefits you deserve: the insurance company may deny medical treatment (forcing you to pay out of pocket for doctor or emergency room visits).

In many cases, your employer-paid worker's comp doctor might refuse to give you an off-work order (denying you time off to recover while being paid temporary disability benefits) or admit that you should have work-related limitations (subjecting you to further injury or pain).

In other cases, your state's workers' comp rating system may deny that you have any permanent impairment resulting from your injury (denying you permanent disability benefits and cutting off future medical treatment).

Contact a Knowledgeable Workers' Comp Lawyer

Because the workers' comp system can be complicated, a seriously injured worker should consider hiring a workers' compensation attorney or lawyer to handle their claim.

Talk to a Lawyer

Need professional help? Start here.

How it Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you
Make the Most of Your Claim

Get the compensation you deserve.

We've helped 265 clients find attorneys today.

How It Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you