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When do employees become eligible for workers’ compensation?

On Behalf of | Apr 14, 2024 | Workers' Compensation |

Employees in Connecticut can generally secure benefits to pay for their medical care and possibly to replace their wages if they can no longer work due to employment-related medical conditions, provided that they are covered by workers’ compensation.

Yet, employees may not feel certain that they qualify for benefits yet because they just started a job. How quickly does someone become eligible for workers’ compensation coverage?

Coverage starts with someone’s employment

There are often waiting periods that apply for health insurance eligibility and other benefits offered by employers. However, workers’ compensation coverage should be available to an employee from their very first day of training on the job. It does not matter if someone has worked for a company for two decades or 20 minutes. If an incident in the workplace is what leads to their injury, then they could potentially qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.

Benefits start with a qualifying condition

In theory, workers’ compensation benefits become available the instant a worker suffers an injury or develops a medical condition caused by their employment. They may not necessarily have time to report an incident or file a benefits claim before seeking medical care.

However, workers’ compensation may pay for the treatment that they receive after an injury when they file the claim later. Backdated medical coverage for prior treatment is possible in some cases. Disability benefits do not necessarily start the same day that someone incurs an injury or receives the diagnosis. Instead, short-term disability benefits through workers’ compensation typically begin after the third day that someone misses work. They can receive benefits for the first three days if they remain unable to work for seven days or longer.

Employees who understand the rules that apply to workers’ compensation claims may feel more confident about seeking benefits. Notifying an employer and securing proper care are often crucial steps for those with work-related health challenges.