Understanding Worker’s Comp Insurance
Understanding Worker’s Comp Insurance
You’ve undoubtedly heard the term “Worker’s Comp” at some point in your life, but like many people you may not know what it is or how it works. Put simply, Worker’s Comp stands for “Worker’s Compensation”, which is a form of insurance designed to provide wage replacement and medical benefits to a worker who suffers injury or illness in the workplace.
If you are so unfortunate as to suffer an injury at work which prevents you from returning to your job you may qualify for Worker’s Comp for the duration of the time you are unable to work. However, there are certain requirements for which you must qualify in order to retain continuing coverage.
In order to qualify for coverage under worker’s comp you must first be considered an employee by that production company. Vendors and loan-outs may not be covered as employees by production.
There do exist certain situations and conditions for which you may not be covered by worker’s comp insurance, such as times you are not on the clock, including working before call time, after wrap, or while on meal breaks.
Reporting the Injury
You must report your injury to Production when the injury occurs so that it can be logged in that day’s Production Report. Your Medic or production office staff should be able to assist you with filing an Incident Report.
While it is still possible to pursue a claim after the injury occurs a delay in reporting may lead to significant delay or denial in the commencement of benefits.
Workers Comp Insurance
Once you have notified Production of your injury they will initiate the process with their worker’s comp insurance company (this is typically through the payroll company).
The worker’s comp insurance company will assign you a case number, a case worker, and you will be provided with details on your next steps.
Depending on the severity of the injury you may be sent directly to the emergency room or an approved healthcare provider. At some point you may be contacted by an adjuster, especially if you are scheduled to receive compensation for lost wages due to injury.
It’s important to understand that employees do not receive financial compensation directly from a Production but rather through the worker’s comp insurance provider. Compensation does not begin until after 7 work days have been missed, but medical treatment coverage is covered from day one.
Never show your personal insurance card during treatment, it may result in you being personally billed.
It is vital that you remain compliant to maintain your worker’s comp coverage.
You may lose coverage if you do not follow all the procedures required by the worker’s comp insurer, such as attending required rehabilitation sessions.
It is not unusual for injured employees to receive bills from collections agencies for healthcare services that they assumed were covered by worker’s comp, unaware that they had violated one or more terms of their worker’s comp arrangement.
Remaining compliant is your responsibility.
Worker’s Comp is part of the financial safety net that exists for employees and it’s important that you be aware of the process for obtaining and maintaining your coverage. The 4 key points that you need to remember are
- Report your injury
- Seek medical attention
- Follow all required steps and procedures
- Keep a copy of all forms and reports, filed or received
The Law Office of Mike Fink has provided guidance to members of Local 479 for more than a decade. Members are encouraged to obtain a copy of the document Injured on the Job, currently in its 15th edition.
This 50+ page document provides a range of real life situations that employees might encounter. If you should have questions that are not addressed in this document you may wish to contact Mike’s firm. These booklets are available at the Local.