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What should I know about the workers' compensation program?

When you suffer a work-related medical condition, you might have to file for workers' compensation. This type of compensation provides benefits to help you live while you are unable to work because of the work-related condition. If you need to file for workers' compensation, knowing some basic points about the program might help you.

What kinds of work-related conditions can qualify for workers' compensation?

There are several different types of work-related conditions that can qualify. When most people think of workers' compensation, they think of injuries. On-the-job injuries are one type of condition that can qualify for workers' compensation. Degenerative injuries, such as some knee or back conditions, as well as workplace illnesses, such as mesothelioma, can also qualify for workers' compensation.

What does workers' compensation cover?

Workers' compensation can cover compensation for permanent injuries, medical care for the work-related condition, replacement income, and costs for retraining if you can't go back to your previous job. It can also cover benefits for survivors if a worker is killed on the job.

Can I seek compensation and file for workers' compensation?

You can't seek compensation from your employer if you collect workers' compensation benefits. In some cases, you might be able to seek compensation from a third-party if there was an element in the accident that would allow for that. An example would be if you were injured by a defective piece of equipment, you could possibly sue the manufacturer.

If you were injured on the job, you should explore all your options for seeking compensation. Once you know the options, you can make an informed decision about your next step.

Source: FindLaw, "Workers' Comp Benefits Explained," accessed Dec. 24, 2015

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