Workers’ compensation laws vary from state to state. If your job is primarily in one state like Delaware, it is in your best interests to know the laws specific to that state.
The basics of workers’ comp are pretty simple: You are employed to do a job, you are injured on the job or because of the job, you receive partial compensation while you recover from the injury. The variables include the types of injuries that are covered, when you need to file paperwork, how long the claims last and how much of your salary you can claim.
Rules in Delaware
The benefits include medical care, disability payments and compensation. In Delaware, medical benefits begin on day one and wage replacement begins four days after the injury.
The state requires employers to provide coverage to almost all employees except domestic workers (housekeepers) and farm workers. Workers considered to be independent contractors and not employees also are not covered.
If you are injured, you should seek medical attention right away and let your employer know that you are seeking medical attention. Failure to tell your employer or to seek medical attention can have adverse effects on any potential claim.
You have 90 days after an accident to notify your employer that you are going to seek workers’ compensation, and you have two years to file a claim.
Occupational diseases such as asbestos exposure and mesothelioma are covered in Delaware, as are mental health conditions.
66.6 percent of average weekly wage
If your workers’ comp claim is approved by the state, you could receive 66.6 percent of your average weekly wages. The wage is calculated depending on whether the employee has been working for the employer less than 13 weeks, between 13 and 26 weeks, or more than 26 weeks. Compensation for partial disability is capped at 300 weeks. In case of death, the worker’s family receives workers’ comp relief.
While your employer can’t fire you for filing a workers’ comp claim and must also respect any new physical constrictions on your ability to work, Delaware remains an “at-will employment” state, which means an employer can fire you for nearly any cause and is not required to provide you with employment.