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Workers’ Comp System ‘Is Failing Workers’

June 8, 2018

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

WASHINGTON—The workers’ compensation system that covers an estimated 129 million people “is failing workers—especially low-wage workers in dangerous industries,” Deborah Berkowitz, head of the National Employment Law Project’s worker health and safety program, wrote in WC Magazine June 1. The state-based systems are supposed to pay injured workers’ medical and rehab bills and reimburse them for lost wages, in exchange for them agreeing not to sue their employer. But as many state legislatures have changed their laws to shift the financial burden to workers and their families, she wrote, the system now covers “only a small percentage of the cost of workplace injuries, forcing injured workers to rely on their own savings and on taxpayer-funded programs to pay most of the costs.” Some states, such as Mississippi, cap benefits for permanently disabled workers at less than nine years, and others exclude occupations such as farm workers and domestic workers, won’t cover injuries such as repetitive trauma disorders. Workers considered independent contractors are also not covered. In 2016, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 5,000 workers were killed on the job, and more than 3 million were seriously injured. Read more

June 8, 2018

2 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Workers’ Comp System ‘Is Failing Workers’”

  1. The entire workers comp system needs to be abolished, rewritten, revamp and updated in order for the system to be ( FAIRER?) to all that is involved . Some of the LAWS are fair but it is how the government is ALLOWING each state to interpret the laws the way they want to, ( most of the time we all know how that will end with the person , usually the employer who has has MORE MONEY, MORE MONEY, MORE MONEY, and on board doctors, and paid lawyers to fight for them ends, with the already injured workers suffering and many die because they can’t prove their illnesses was caused from on the job exposure to harmful working conditions., ill training and or not proper protective clothing. I filed for workers comp in Sept. 2017 for an occupational disease that was directly related to my work place. A place that makes SOY PROTEIN POWDER, i was diagnosed with end-stage renal failure dr. say too much protein in body caused my kidneys to work too hard until they eventually stop working. I was completely dismissed and ignored by my employers was never sent to or given a panel of doctors. When i went on my own to file for workers comp that when I found how UNFAIR and yes I will say it out LOUD CROOKED the SYSTEM ,( employers, doctors, insurance carriers, and lawyers are. The system seems to be PROUD of the fact that they are FAILING the injured workers by DISMISSING their cases 95% of time. The whole system was set up as a no fault insurance but in actually the legal system completely ignores this fact. The doctors, lawyers insurance carriers and yes even the judges in TENN do not have a clue what to do with an occupational disease or injury case or claim. The whole process for a workers comp occupational disease and or illness is treated as an on the job injury two completely different claims or cases that should be handled totally different but is not, when they the workers comp bureau send out a claim form the form is geared toward on the job injury. I filed my workers comp claim and just like all the rest of the occupational diseases and or illnesses my case has been denied , for LACK of evidence at this stage it would not have matter what evidence I was able to present , I would not have prevailed because my pockets are not deep enough , I don’t have enough tentacles to reach where the money can reach. The sad part about all of this is that there are soooooooooo many people who know about how the system is failing the injured workers, sooooo many articles are being written about the system ‘s failure and yet not one of the writer of the articles are willing to call out and hold the responsible parties responsible. Stop talking or writing about it Talking about being aware of a problem and not coming up with a solution is doing a DISSERVICE to all injured workers, believe me we all are aware of how broken the workers comp system is but until SOMEONE demand that laws be changed and enforced nothing will ever happen and innocent workers will continue to get hurt on the job and forced to the poor house with medical bills and yes MANY will die all the while the powers that could do something pass the (BUCK). If you are not willing to HELP us stand against the then i urge you and the other people to stop talking about it is DOES us no GOOD. ANOTHER one BITES the DUSTS. The employers, doctors . insurance carriers and LAWYERS can once again and go out and celebrate another WIN for DEEP POCKETS . JUSTICE is truly BLIND and not in a good way.

  2. Debra says:

    I do not know what I am going to do workman’s comp doctor agreed medical evaluator stated that Workman’s comp does not treat all work injuries. What I am I to do this is so unfair. That is why the suicide rate is so high now I understand none of the claim workers care I just feel hopeless and my life is screwed

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