The current health crisis has left both employers and employees in challenging situations. Although the unemployment rate is higher, workers’ compensation claims have faced additional challenges for both parties. Navigating claims can be stressful, but knowing the challenges, setting reasonable expectations, and planning for the future can benefit both employers and employees.
Employers’ increase in claims
Industries that require employees to be physically present in the workplace have experienced more compensation claims due to greater risk of exposure to the disease. Industries that require employees to telecommute can face claims from employees’ who misuse workstation equipment or are injured by distractions in the home. Employers who have terminated or furloughed employees can face claims from former employees attempting to offset income loss with workers’ compensation benefits.
Employees’ delayed recovery and claim resolution
Those who have been injured know how slow recovery, rehabilitation, and resuming normal life can be under the best of circumstances. During the ongoing situation, employees are likely to see their claims remain open for an extended period of time. Many state workers’ compensation claims boards have reduced hours or have shutdown temporarily. The impact can lead to current claims remaining unresolved until further notice, or claims will be resolved at a far slower pace.
Employees needing medical care, such as routine medical procedures, may also be required to wait. When returning to the workplace is often a high priority for employees, a slower recovery time can be financially and medically challenging. When routine medical procedures resume, employees may be part of a backlog of cases.
Moving towards a positive future
The pandemic can be accompanied by feelings of uncertainty for employers and employees, but both can navigate the world of workers’ compensation claims with a strong team. With guidance, support, and knowledge, experienced professionals can help businesses and individuals navigate the process.