Washington state, like most of the other 49 states and District of Columbia, requires employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Traditionally, workers’ comp insurance covers the cost of medical expenses and lost wages associated with work-related injuries. However, Washington workers’ comp law expands the type of benefits injured parties may recover. When a person sustains an injury on the job in The Evergreen State, it is important that he or she understands his or her rights under the law.
According to FindLaw, workers’ compensation benefits can fall into one of seven categories: Medical benefits, wage replacement, travel reimbursement, prescription medication, property reimbursement, permanent partial disability and permanent total disability.
Medical benefits are straightforward; they cover the costs of medical care associated to an occupational injury or disease. Injured workers are also entitled to payments for lost wages that are a result of the injury. However, a worker may only recover a fraction of lost wages through workers’ comp.
Washington workers may also file a claim for the partial repayment of travel expenses associated with an injury and reimbursement for personal property that gets damaged or lost in a workplace accident. Some injured parties may also receive payments for prescription medications, given the condition is eligible.
Some parties develop a partial or total disability following a workplace accident. In the case of the former, workers’ comp insurance may compensate for reduced income as a result of diminished earning capacity. If an injury results in permanent total disability, an injured worker may receive a monthly pension.
According to Insureon, workers’ compensation may also pay out death benefits to survivors’ families. Eligible survivors may receive a one-time benefit in addition to a monthly pension. Spouses of individuals who die as a result of work-related accidents or occupational disease are automatically eligible for benefits. Children may be eligible if they are under the age of 18, are younger than 23 and full-time students or were dependent upon the deceased because of a mental, physical or sensory disability.