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What is Worker's Compensation?
By Randy Sieberg, CIC, ARM, CRM

Previously known as "workman's comp" for short, the name has been changed to worker's compensation. Worker's compensation is basically an insurance policy, derived from state statutes, which protect employees if they become injured or sick while carrying out the duties of a job. Worker's compensation may also pay damages to a worker's family if the worker is unable to return to work for a long time or suffers a fatal injury.

Each state has its own worker's compensation regulations and rules, and state laws control an employer's responsibility to its workers. State law establishes the types of injuries and sicknesses which are actionable and the award an injured party could receive for those conditions. Federal law only relates to employees of the national government or those persons who carry out interstate commerce. Coverage includes work associated illnesses, sickness, falls and other accidents in the workplace.

Workers compensation does not just cover medical costs; it also provides income replacement for the injured worker due to an on the job injury or accident. Depending on the state of jurisdiction, the employee might get up to 2/3 of his or her usual wages, until they are able to return to work.

This article is brought to you by WorkCompConsultants.com, an independent workers compensation consulting firm dedicated to helping employers prevent and resolve work comp issues.