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Is Workers' Compensation State-Mandated or Federally Funded?


When you get hurt at work because a safety protocol wasn't followed or because a coworker was being unsafe, you are likely going to be entitled to workers' compensation. You may have slipped on wet floors and hit your head or been the victim of serious lacerations due to a missing guard on a cutting machine. Whatever happened, whether it was partially your error or not, you can still receive compensation for your injuries in the workplace.

Workers' compensation is a state-mandated program, which means each state's program is a little different. Federal laws do protect workers as well, so while states may vary, there is some consistency. The federal government has its own kind of workers' compensation for federal workers, like those working at federally funded park systems or libraries, but most people will be looking for workers' compensation that is provided by their state of residency.

In most situations, you'll be able to claim compensation even if your injury was a result of your own error. Workers' compensation can be thought of as insurance more than as if you were to sue your employer. In fact, if you take a workers' compensation payment, it protects your employer from being sued by you.

Your employer could also have private insurance, so you should ask about this before you start at your job. Private insurance can be as good as workers' compensation, but you may need to have different information on hand to make a claim. Your employer should always give you information about the plan or workers' compensation insurance that he or she has, so you know what to do if you're injured.

Source: FindLaw, "Workers' Comp Benefits Explained," accessed April. 29, 2015