Workers’ Compensation Definition & FAQs

Workers’ Compensation Definition

Workers’ compensation insurance is a type of business insurance that provides benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. Specifically, this insurance helps pay for medical care, wages from lost work time and more.
 
Workers’ compensation insurance benefits can vary by state. Visit our workers’ compensation state pages to see what workers’ comp regulations and requirements exist in your state.
 
Workers’ compensation coverage helps protect your business in three ways. These include:
 
  • Covering employee illnesses and workplace injuries
  • Protecting your business from lawsuits
  • Keeping your business compliant with state regulations
For a complete workers’ comp definition, visit our what is workers’ compensation insurance page.
 

Workers’ Comp FAQs

Workers’ Comp Claim FAQs

How to File a Workers’ Comp Claim

There are a few steps to carry out when filing a workers’ comp claim after a work-related injury or sickness occurs. These include:
 
  • Submitting the official paperwork
  • Waiting for a notice of claims status
Also keep in mind that there are different deadlines for filing your claim, depending on the state you’re in. For instance, in Alabama you must file your claim within:1
 
  • Two years from the date of injury
  • Or two years from the date of last compensation payment
While you can usually file your claim within a few years, employees are usually required to notify their employer of an injury much sooner. For instance, they may be required to notify their employer within 30 days of the injury.2
 
 

Workers’ Compensation Claims

Looking to file a workers' compensation claim with The Hartford? Our online form makes it easy to start your workers' comp claim wherever you are, anytime.
 

Costs & Rates FAQs

Workers’ Compensation Cost

Every business is different. This makes it important to determine what impacts your business’s workers’ compensation cost. The cost of workers’ compensation can vary based on specific risks your business faces.
 

Workers’ Comp Rates Decrease for Fifth Straight Year

Workers’ compensation rates last year were mixed. However, this year’s rate filings indicate that workers’ comp rates for most types of workers’ comp insurance will decrease. This is predicted to be the fifth year in a row of a decrease. See if your business is included in the workers’ comp rate decrease.
 

How Is Workers’ Comp Calculated?

Calculating workers’ compensation premium costs can get complicated. Numerous factors contribute to the overall insurance premium, including:
 
  • Industry class codes
  • The number of employees
  • Payroll
  • Claims history
 

Is Workers’ Compensation Taxable?

It doesn’t matter if you’ve been getting workers’ comp for a week or three months. You may still be questioning if you have to pay taxes on it. The quick answer is that in most states, you probably won’t be taxed. Read more to find out if workers’ compensation is taxable.
 

Workers’ Compensation for Employers FAQs

What Does Workers’ Comp Cover?

In most cases, workers’ comp insurance helps cover:
 
  • Partial lost wages when employees are unable to work
  • Medical expenses
  • Ongoing care costs
  • Funeral expenses if an employee dies as the result of a work-related accident or illness
 

Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits

The types of workers’ comp benefits usually fall into four categories. These categories are:
 
  • Disability, which includes total disability benefits
  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Medical treatment
  • Death and funeral services
Specific aspects of coverage may vary between states. In order to receive benefits, an employee’s treating physician will need to officially diagnose their condition.
 
Read more about the types of workers’ compensation insurance benefits.
 

How to Get Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Workers Compensation Definition Buying workers’ compensation insurance can feel intimidating. With state regulations, there are many dynamics that you may have to take into consideration.
 
Choosing can become even more complicated if you are doing business in multiple states. That’s why it’s important to work with an insurance company, like The Hartford. You can breathe easy knowing that we have experience working with companies in your state. Learn more about how to get workers’ compensation insurance.
 

What to Do If an Employee Is Injured at Work

If an accident at the workplace occurs and you have injured workers, the proper steps should be adhered to. These steps include:
 
  • Calling emergency services, if it’s necessary
  • Detailing and documenting your employees injuries
  • Reporting the issue to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
  • Continuing to communicate with your insurance company and your employee
Read more about what to do if your employee has an injury at work.
 

Workplace & Employee Wellness

Does your company have a workplace employee wellness program in place? Workplace wellness programs are growing in popularity and taking all shapes and sizes.
 

Do I Need Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

In most states, if your business has employees you’ll need to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This includes both part-time and full-time employees.
 
 

Who Is Exempt from Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

In order to be exempt from workers’ compensation, your business will need to go through your state’s screening process.
 
This will require you to fill out a form with information on the employee and the type of company you own. Usually, your state will require:
 
  • Proof of up-to-date business licenses
  • Proof of ownership
  • Additional contact information on your business’s insurance carrier
The workers’ comp exemption form and required documents must be filed with the closest workers’ comp district office.
 

What Are Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

Workers’ compensation provides medical care and benefits to your employees when injured on the job. These workers’ comp benefits are also provided for illnesses caused by working conditions.
 
Workers’ compensation insurance can also help cover:
 
  • Medical treatments
  • Lost wages
  • Rehabilitation services
  • Funeral and legal fees
When an employee returns to work after an injury, their workers’ comp benefits will likely stop. These benefits stop when their wage is equal or greater than their previous wage before they were injured.3
 
Read more about our workers’ compensation benefits.
 

Employer Workers’ Compensation Requirements

As an employer, most states require you to carry workers’ compensation insurance. With The Hartford, you can get coverage that goes beyond what state funds or other private insurers offer. Additional benefits we offer include:
 
  • A preferred medical provider network
  • Prescription drug features
  • Access to experienced nurses
  • Pay-as-you-go billing solutions
 

Human Resources Role in Workers’ Compensation

Workers Comp FAQ Businesses like yours rely on human resources (HR) professionals all the time. When it comes to getting a new workers’ comp insurance provider, these professionals may be your biggest helper. They’ll help your business secure and implement new workers’ compensation procedures and policies.
 
In addition to this, you want your human resources department to process each workers’ compensation case quickly. They should handle claims efficiently and reasonably. This will help both your employees and your business avoid lawsuits. Your HR department should also be sure to administer policies and procedures lawfully from:
 
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Read more about HR’s role in workers' comp.
 

What Should I Look for in a Workers’ Comp Review?

As a workers’ compensation policy holder, it’s a good idea to review what’s needed based on:
 
  • Last year’s record of workers’ compensation activity
  • What you expect for the upcoming year
Look at your existing policy and ask yourself if it has enough coverage for your upcoming business plans. Read more about what questions to consider during a year-end workers’ compensation review.
 

When Is Workers’ Compensation Required?

Each state has its own set of legal requirements for workers’ comp insurance. Although workers’ compensation is generally needed in all states, there are a few exemptions. Read more about exemptions and when workers’ compensation is required.
 

General Workers’ Compensation FAQs

Top 10 Workman’s Comp Questions

The Hartford has compiled and answered the top 10 most frequently asked workers’ comp questions. This is a great first step to answer your questions. If you still need assistance, please contact our specialists at 1-855-829-1683. They can help answer your questions and get your business and employees protected.
 

What Are Workers’ Comp Class Codes?

Class codes identify categories of businesses. These categories help insurance companies better understand their customers. Workers’ comp codes categorize companies into areas of work based on an estimated amount of risk. These codes allow insurance companies to determine workers’ compensation coverage costs accurately. See your states workers’ comp class codes and their rates. 
 

The Workers’ Comp Settlement Process

A workman’s comp settlement usually covers the following:
 
  • Attorney fees
  • Disability payments
  • Hospital bills
  • Ambulance rides
  • Surgery
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Future wage loss
 

How Does Workers’ Comp Work?

For employers, a workers’ compensation insurance policy helps protect the business and owner. Without this insurance, you could be financially responsible if an employee gets injured or sick from a work-related cause. Get more information on how workers’ comp works.
 

Workers’ Comp Rights, Rules & Regulations

When it comes to workers’ compensation claims, workers’ rights include:
 
  • The right to file a claim for injury or illness sustained on the job
  • The right to seek medical treatment for injuries or illnesses
  • The right to seek disability compensation for permanent injuries
  • The right to appeal a court decision
  • The right to have legal representation
As an employer, you have the right to request that an independent medical physician examine an injured worker when a lawsuit is filed against you. This independent physician can help verify injuries.4
 
 

Workers’ Compensation Trends

Workers’ compensation claims have been decreasing over time. This can be largely attributed to safer work environments. These safer work environments have reduced employee injuries and illnesses. See how workers’ compensation trends are changing this year.
 

Workers’ Compensation Trends & Risks

There are many workers' compensation trends and risks you probably haven’t thought about in the new economy, from active shooter preparedness and evacuation plans to opioid addiction and medical marijuana in the workforce.
 

Workplace Safety

Did you know businesses can save money on workers' comp costs by improving workplace safety? Creating a safe space for employees to work is the responsibility of every employer, but safer places save money through lower insurance premiums and risk management discounts.
 

Pay-As-You-Go Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Pay-as-you-go workers’ comp is an optional way of making your premium payments. With this option you’ll still get the same type of workers’ compensation insurance policy. However, pay-as-you-go workers’ comp means you will pay your premium in smaller amounts dispersed over the term of the policy. This usually takes place over a year. See how pay-as-you-go workers’ compensation insurance can benefit your business.
 
 
 
 
Certain coverages vary by state and may not be available to all businesses. All Hartford coverages and services described on this page may be offered by one or more of the property and casualty insurance company subsidiaries of The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. In TX, this insurance is written by Sentinel Insurance Company, Ltd., Hartford Casualty Insurance Company, Hartford Lloyd’s Insurance Company, Property and Casualty Insurance Company of Hartford, Hartford Underwriters Insurance Company, Twin City Fire Insurance Company, Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company and Hartford Fire Insurance Company. In CA by Sentinel Insurance Company, Ltd. (CA license # 8701) and its property and casualty insurance company affiliates, One Hartford Plaza, Hartford, CT 06155.
 
The Hartford® is The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. and its property and casualty subsidiaries, including issuing company, Hartford Fire Insurance Company. Its headquarters is in Hartford, CT.