Issues pertaining to Workers’ Compensation can be somewhat complicated at times. Although states, such as Indiana try to make the law as clear as possible; However, there are still issues which occur from time-to-time. Indiana provides two methods of resolving disagreements. An injured worker has the right to take a formal approach by presenting the case before a court. However, should he or she decide to take o less formal approach, the state provides the opportunity to use mediation instead.
In the state of Indiana, employers are required to provide Workers’ Compensation Insurance. Employers can do so either by self-insurance or Private carriers. There are two exceptions to this law. In the case of agriculture workers, or domestic employees the coverage is strictly voluntary for employers. Another exception would be for sub-contract labor.
The state of Indiana includes a waiting period in their Workers’ Compensation Law. This waiting period applies to workers who are claiming Temporary disability, not Permanent disability. The difference between the two is with Temporary disability the worker is expected to return to work at some point in time. Permanent, on the other hand, is claimed when the injured worker will be unable to continue working. The waiting period for Temporary disability is seven days. In other words, the worker is required to wait seven days before qualifying for disability benefits. Should the worker be able to continue employment before the waiting period is complete the benefits will not be paid.
Many may not realize it is possible to receive two types of benefits at one time. Although the injured worker may not receive both Unemployment and Worker Comp. benefits, it is permissible under Indiana law to collect either Social Security or Social Security disability with Worker Comp. Indiana State law makes it illegal for any employer to terminate an employee for filing a Worker Comp. claim. Even in cases where the employee was hired on an “at-will” basis, the employer is prohibited from dismissing the employee while benefits are being paid.
Indiana takes Workers’ Compensation very seriously. An employer is not permitted to ask an employee to work without coverage. It is also illegal to ask an employee to pay any part of the Unemployment Comp. premiums. Employees cannot be induced, or coerced, into not filing a valid claim with the state, nor can they be terminated or punished in any way for doing so.