Workers' Compensation: A Complete Guide

Workers’ compensation provides financial assistance to employees who have been affected by an illness or injury while on the job. Unfortunately, some employers or insurance companies may unjustly attempt to withhold compensation or benefits. Learn about workers’ compensation, who’s eligible, and how our team can help you get proper representation for your case.

Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits

In the state of Wisconsin, the Workers’ Compensation Act provides for payment of medical expenses and compensation for lost wages resulting from work-related injuries or disabilities. These benefits are the responsibility of the employer or the employer’s insurance carrier.

Workers’ compensation benefits may include:

  • Coverage of necessary medical expenses.

  • Lost wages.

  • Benefits for partial or total disability if the employee does not recover from the injury or illness.

  • Vocational rehabilitation and retraining.

  • Death benefits and burial expenses paid to beneficiaries if death occurs.

Am I Covered?

In the event of a workplace-related illness or injury, nearly all workers in the state of Wisconsin receive workers’ compensation benefits. The only workers not covered by the Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation Act include those below:

  • Domestic servants.

  • Some farm employees.

  • Volunteers including those of non-profit organizations that receive money or other things of value totaling no more than $10 per week.

  • Religious sect members that qualify and are certified.

  • Employees of the federal government (these employees are covered by federal workers’ compensation laws).

  • People who work on interstate railroads (these employees are covered by the Federal Employers Liability Act).

  • Seamen on navigable waters (these employees are covered by the Merchant Marine Act of 1920).

  • People loading and unloading vessels (these employees are covered by the Longshoremen’s and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act).

I Received an Illness or Injury at Work, Now What?

In Wisconsin, employers with more than three employees must have workers’ compensation insurance coverage, and coverage begins on your first day of work. If you are affected by an illness or injury while on the job, it’s important to file a claim as quickly as possible to ensure an efficient claims process. The steps below outline the typical process of a workers’ compensation claim in Wisconsin.

  1. Immediately report your illness or injury to your supervisor. Wisconsin’s statute of limitations requires employees to report an occupational illness within 30 days. If you receive an injury that you did not notice early on, you have two years from the date of the accident to notify your employer.

  2. Your employer should then report your illness or injury to their insurance carrier.

  3. Usually, the first benefit payment will be issued by the insurance company within 14 days of your last day worked.

Keep in mind there is a three-day delay or waiting period for workers’ compensation benefits. You will not be compensated for the first three days of lost time after your illness or injury. Compensation is payable beginning your fourth day of lost time. If your illness or injury extends beyond seven days, the first three days after your illness or injury would then be paid retroactively.

Get the Help You Need

Our legal team at Cooper Law Group has more than two decades of experience in employment relations and more than 13 years of experience in workers’ compensation law. Don’t let your employer get away with withholding the benefits you’re entitled to by law. Whether you’re suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, broken bones, a respiratory illness, or any other affliction, our Milwaukee workers' comp attorney will work relentlessly to protect your rights and fight for your best interests.

As a small law firm, we devote all of our time and resources to our clients. We’ll make sure you’re always updated on your case; our client-centered approach is well-known throughout the Milwaukee community.

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Call us today at (414) 240-0795 to learn how Cooper Law Group can help you.