Workers Compensation Disability Benefits - In Case Of A Job-Related Disability
Workers compensation disability benefits are available in every state in the USA. There are many similarites between these programs, but also some variance. Since we don't have room here to talk about every state's program, we'll focus on the workers comp program of the state of California in this article. Your state's program will probably be similar, but there can be differences ranging from inconsequental to major between states, so be sure to confirm the details with the appropriate authorities.
Workers' compensation is a program designed to pay benefits to individuals who become disabled and unable to work because of workplace-related illness or injury. CA's plan is what's referred to as 'no-fault', meaning it's not necessary to prove that the limiting medical condition was actually the fault of the employer in order to receive benefits, just that the illness or injury was caused by the performance of the job or presence of the employee at the workplace.
In order to file a CA workers comp claim, a worker must have been injured, developed a diagnosable medical disorder or disease while working, or have what's referred to as a 'cumulative trauma illness', which is a condition resulting from repeating the same motions on a daily basis.
CA offers six different types of benefits. It's possible to receive certain types of medical care, vocational rehabilitation, job displacement benefits, temporary disability benefits, permananent disability benefits, or, in a worse case scenario, the worker's beneficiaries can collect death benefits.
Workers' compensation disability programs have a well deserved reputation for being rife with cases of attempted fraud. As you might expect, there are many people who think it would be a good idea to take the rest of their life off from work and have the government send them a check once a month. The fact that injuries which can be very difficult to prove or disprove, such as bad backs, do frequently happen in the workplace make it very tempting for dishonest individuals to try and game the system. This has resulted in a whole cottage industry of investigators who follow suspected workers' comp fraudsters around with cameras, microphones and other surveillance equipment to try and document the supposedly injured claimants doing something that shows their injury is a sham. Since the states are aware of this propensity for workers' compensation fraud, the laws also provide for strict punishment, with the crime usually considered a felony, of any medical provider or other similar person who aids or abets the fraudulent claim of any applicant.