postheadericon What Are Workmen’s Compensation Benefits?

No matter how extensive safety measures in the workplace are, it is a reality that accidents do happen and injuries are sustained. In the event that you are injured, disabled or fall ill because of an accident or conditions at work, you may be interested to know what your Workmen’s Compensation benefits/options are.

The Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act

In 1993, the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act was signed into law. The purpose of this Act was to provide a means of compensation for workers who suffer disablement or debilitating illness as a result of their occupation and the conditions thereof. Provision is also made for compensation to the dependants of workers who die from such injuries or diseases.

The types of compensation covered

While the purpose of the Act is simply to compensate employees for injury or disease as a result of their work, these injuries and diseases can result in a whole host of consequences. Three types of disability covered by the Act are:

1. Temporary disability

Temporary disability refers to cases where employees are unable to work as a result of an accident, but they will recover in time. Temporary disability can be claimed for a period of up to two years, while any period longer than this may be defined by the Commissioner as permanent disability.

If you are booked off by a doctor for more than three days, unable to work, you are entitled to be paid 75% of your normal wage from the Compensation Fund. If your medical bills are properly submitted to the Commissioner, these will also be paid.

2. Permanent disability

Permanent disability refers to cases where you are unlikely to ever recover from the accident or illness. In these cases the severity of the disability is determined by the Commissioner and various doctors, rated on a scale from 100% to 1%. A rating of 100% indicates extreme severity, such as the loss of sight, while 1% would indicate a low severity.

In the case of permanent disability ratings above 30% you will receive a monthly ‘pension’ for the rest of your life, with the exact amount dependent on the severity of your disability. 100% disability, for example, will result in a monthly pension of 75% of your normal wages.

For permanent disability rated below 30%, indicating that you should still have the ability to earn an income, you will receive a once-off lump sum payment as compensation.

3. Death

In the event that you die as a result of a work-related disease or injury, your dependents (spouse and children under the age of 18) are entitled to claim for compensation. Take note, however, that this compensation cannot exceed what you would have received according to the conditions listed above.

It is a fact that keeping up with the terminologies, conditions and the amendments to labour laws and regulations can be quite daunting, especially for new companies entering the business world. To keep yourself informed, compliant and prepared, enlist the services of professional labour relations consultants.


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