The American public relies on safety professionals to provide basic protections in emergencies. Risks exist when a firefighter battles a blaze, a police officer pursues a suspect or an EMT responds to a medical emergency. Despite the dangers, firefighters, law enforcement agents and emergency medical technicians selflessly commit to serving the public.
Public safety workers are not paid a premium for the risks they face. However, workers’ compensation ensures that they receive financial assistance for on-the-job injuries.
California workers’ compensation
California law requires employers to provide workers’ compensation to part-time and full-time workers. The state uses a no-fault system. This allows employees to file for benefits without having to prove that someone else caused the injury.
Medical coverage for injuries
The primary role of workers’ compensation is coverage for on-the-job injuries. Workers’ compensation enables prompt medical attention without the financial burden.
Temporary disability benefits
If an injured public safety worker is temporarily laid up, their workers’ compensation package can replace part of their lost wages. This support ensures that injured workers can focus on recovery without the financial stress of missing work.
Permanent disability benefits
Unfortunately, sometimes a serious injury can lead to a permanent disability. This can prohibit an employee from continuing to work in their chosen field. Permanent disability benefits provide a safety net in case an injured public safety worker must change career paths.
Workers’ compensation often includes vocational rehabilitation programs. If a public safety professional’s injury prevents them from returning to work, these programs will provide training on new skills. The program can also help to find new employment opportunities for injured workers.