Workers Confused About Workers Comp

August 28, 2002 ( - Even though many workers have had a family member hurt on the job, few appear to know how workers' compensation covers such claims.

The survey by The Hartford Financial Services Group, found that six out of 10 blue-collar households and four of ten white-collar households have had experience with workplace injuries.

But, according to the survey, respondents tended mostly to be fuzzy on the details – about who pays a worker’s compensation claim, for example.

According to the survey:

  • 25% said on-the-job medical costs would be covered by their employers’ medical insurance
  • 8% think they would be covered by the employee’s disability insurance
  • 5% assume these costs would be paid out-of-pocket by either their employer or themselves.

Another major misconception, according to Hartford researchers, 15% of respondents said incorrectly they would get little or no pay if they were out recovering from an injury. State regulations actually govern the amount of salary paid as part of worker’s compensation.

Despite the confusion about benefits for injured workers, the survey also showed substantial employee interest in returning to work even if it was to another job.

Slightly more than half or 51% of the respondents indicated they would be interested in returning to work in another position if they were temporarily unable to perform their original jobs.  Another 23% said they were unsure what they would do, and 26% said they would not consider such an option.

The study, conducted the last week of July, included 610 employed adults.