The workers’ compensation system is a little confusing. It is private insurance that your employer carries, but state law dictates the process and procedures.
The Delaware Department of Labor explains that because workers’ compensation is insurance, any payments you receive are from your employer’s insurance policy.
Many people think the benefits come from the state because of how the process works and the overall handling of claims. When you make a claim, you do so to your employer’s insurer, but the state also becomes involved.
In addition, the state sets the rate of pay for claims, which is why many people think the money comes from the state. The reality is the state simply sets the rules for the insurer to follow.
The state also makes the rules about eligibility. Insures must follow these guidelines as they are set by law.
You may also deal with the state if you appeal a decision the insurer makes. The state provides officials who oversee the whole process.
Because there is a lot of state involvement, it becomes very confusing where the benefits come from even when you see there is an insurer involved in the process as well.
The only exception to the insurer paying the benefits is if your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance. While the law mandates this coverage for most employers in the state, some companies will not get the insurance.
If this happens and you suffer an injury on the job, you cannot make a claim against an insurance policy. You would make a claim directly against your employer. Since your employer does not carry the insurance, your claim will have to go through the court instead of the workers’ compensation system.