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Articles Tagged with Occupational Disease

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No matter what the job, there will always be risks involved. For this reason, workers are fortunate that Oklahoma laws are sound when it comes to workers’ compensation, so workers may obtain benefits after suffering from workplace injuries or an occupational disease. However, employers should also be aware of their duties, responsibilities and limitations when it comes to workers’ compensation benefits since their participation is crucial when obtaining these benefits.

Are companies that employ family members required to give workers’ compensation? Not necessarily. If a business employs five or fewer employees who are all related, either by blood or marriage, to the employer, that employer is not required to provide them insurance coverage.

How can Oklahoma companies get the insurance coverage for their workers? The state requires companies, assuming they fall under the necessary requirements, cover their employees with workers’ compensation insurance. Employers can obtain insurance from CompSource Oklahoma or buy it from a private insurance firm. Regardless of who handles the insurance, the benefits will remain unchanged.

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Oklahomans who are new to the state’s workforce are often most concerned about their salary, benefits, working conditions and work schedules. Although these are understandably important concerns, new employees – like older employees – should also know the basics of the state’s workers’ compensation system in case they ever need it in their work careers.

What is workers’ compensation? Workers’ compensation is an insurance program that provides financial benefits when an employee suffers a workplace injury or occupational disease or illness. Compensation can also be extended to the worker’s dependents or family in cases of fatal work accidents or serious work injuries that debilitate their family member.

Are all employees covered by workers’ compensation? No, but most workers are. The exceptions include independent contractors, some agricultural workers, volunteers who receive no salary and real estate brokers who only earn commissions. If a business employs five or fewer workers related by blood to the employer, the insurance also does not cover them.

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Missing a day of work, especially if it is unpaid, because of injury can adversely affect a worker’s financial situation. Imagine how much a worker will have to endure financially if more than a day or week’s pay is lost. Additionally, there are medical expenses, bills, household costs and other miscellaneous expenses to think about. Fortunately, most companies in Oklahoma provide workers’ compensation benefits for injured workers. However, how does a worker claim benefits in the first place?

The first step is to notify the employer of the injury in writing. Although employers should definitely be aware of the fact that one of their employees has been injured on the job, it is more than a formality. If a worker sustains an occupational disease, was exposed to toxins or experienced a workplace accident that resulted in injury, the worker should inform the employer in writing of the injury within 30 days. Otherwise, the injured worker may lose the right to claim benefits.

How will the employer participate in the process? After receiving the notice of injury, the employer will have 10 days to file an injury report with the Workers’ Compensation Commission. When the Commission receives the report, the Commission will inform the worker with a written notice to help the worker understand the claims process better. The employer, or its insurance carrier, will then inform the worker if it will accept the benefits claim or deny it.

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