You may be familiar with Worker’s Compensation through your current job or a past position held. If you have worked in a restaurant or retail store, a warehouse or anyplace where your job may require some manual labor, you may have seen Worker’s Comp posters in the employees lounge or main office but never bothered to study them closely. When we go to work, the notion of getting hurt is probably the farthest thing from our minds because we are focused on getting the job done. In the event of an accident that leaves you unable to work for a while, it’s good to know you may have the option of filing a claim.

That said, you will want to know more about Worker’s Comp so you can better understand the process. Your company’s Human Resources department (or else your supervisor or manager), can give you the specifics, but here are a few commonly asked questions to get you started:

1) What is Worker’s Comp and why should I be aware of it?

Worker’s Compensation is a program that assists people who sustain injuries as a result of accidents while on the job. Not unlike insurance, it is a program that an employer enrolls in to allow employees to file claims if they become hurt and need compensation to help them while they recover.

2) How do I know if I am eligible to file for a claim?

If your place of employment is enrolled in the program, you can file a Worker’s Comp claim if you have been hurt on the job. If you fall off a ladder, or if something at work falls on you and causes physical damage, or if you are injured handling machinery, you might be eligible.

3) Are there incidents that Worker’s Comp won’t cover?

Yes. If you have a preexisting condition like cancer or diabetes, you cannot be covered for those illnesses. If an accident at work arises due to your negligence as a result of drugs or alcohol, or if you are proven to have purposely caused an accident to injure yourself, you may not be eligible to file a claim.

4) What should I do if I become injured at work?

It’s important to inform your employer or the proper department immediately. If you need medical attention, you will likely be sent to a doctor, while anybody witnessing your injury is interviewed for information. Your employer will keep track of your injury and recovery and note any time missed from work. Your employer will also inform you of your rights with regards to compensation if applicable.

The more you know about Worker’s Comp, the easier it will be to file a claim and work toward recovery and a return to work.