The workers’ comp system in New Hampshire is created virtually entirely by statute. The legislature created this benefit system to help employees who have been injured while on the job or engaging in work-related activities.
Every state has slightly different workers’ compensation laws, but the premise remains the same: to help those who have been injured at work.
Who is Required to Carry Workers’ Comp Insurance?
Most employers are legally required to have workers’ comp in New Hampshire. In fact, any employee who has one or more employees should usually have workers’ comp available. Any employer who fails to have workers’ comp insurance, and is required to do so, may have to pay fines or face criminal penalties.
Generally, an employer will purchase workers’ compensation insurance from an insurance company. Some larger companies may seek approval to be “self-insured.” Even if an employer is self-insured, they often still hire an insurance company to administer workers’ compensation claims.
What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?
Any employee should be eligible for workers’ compensation if the employer is required to carry work comp insurance. Workers’ compensation does not cover independent contractors, however.
Workers’ compensation will address virtually any injury or illness that is caused by your employment. That is, you must be engaged in an activity that benefits your employer at the time of the injury for workers’ compensation to apply.
Many people assume that workers’ compensation in New Hampshire only applies to sudden injuries, such as falls or cuts. However, it also offers benefits for occupational diseases and repetitive stress injuries as well. Other unique injuries, such as hearing loss or expose to chemicals that result in long-term harm are also covered. Some mental health and stress disorders are also included.
Workers’ comp will also include the aggravation of a preexisting condition as well. For example, imagine that you had a bad back before you started working for a new employer. You are doing your daily job when your back goes out. You have to get medical treatment and surgery. You can generally receive benefits for the difference between how your back was before employment and the injuries that are a direct result of your work. Even if you have a similar condition before the accident, that does not preclude you from receiving workers’ compensation benefits.
How Much Are Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
The amount of benefits that you receive will vary depending on the situation. Which body part was harmed and the severity of the injury will play a significant role.
In addition, your average weekly wage will have a direct effect on the amount of weekly benefits you can receive. In New Hampshire, your weekly benefits cannot exceed 60 percent of your average weekly wage before your injury or accident. The amount you receive will also vary depending on whether you can obtain another job after the injury.
How Do I Get a Workers’ Compensation Claim Started?
You should tell your employer about your work injury as soon as you can after your injury. You must legally report the injury within two years after the accident but the sooner you report, the better. Your employer should then report the incident to their insurance company to get the claim started.