Workers compensation was developed to ease tensions between employers and employees. In case some was injured or ill because of work, insurance partners would swoop in to take care of the financial needs of the worker. This eases the burden on both the business and those who work there. The problem is that the claims process often become too focused on compliance and less concerned about the state of the workers who need assistance. In many cases, claims management gets adversarial as both the company and the insurer try to limit payouts. There is a growing call towards a shift to workers compensation advocacy to solve current issues.
What Workers Compensation Advocacy Entails
Advocacy means that the claims process does not look down on the employees. It does not treat them as mere statistics that must meet certain criteria but as actual people with immediate needs. Those who file claims are treated with respect. They are able to keep their dignity despite their compromised state. The process is made transparent such that everyone will know exactly what they must do to get approved. The reasoning behind all decisions are explained in detail. This creates a positive culture within the organization. The claims process will be there to help individuals on their road to recovery.
The Benefits of Advocacy
1. Build trust and confidence.
Workers compensation advocacy opens the doors for communication between all concerned parties. This builds trust and confidence in the claims process. The immediate needs of the injured workers are always the focus. The people who are in dire need of help will get it right away. Every individual will have reassurance that the system is on their side. Injuries are difficult to deal with by themselves so the claims process shouldn’t add to that. Everything should be laid out so that employees will know exactly what to do and how to qualify. This reduces anxiety and stress.
2. Hasten return to work.
Workers compensation specialists are often bogged down by the details of the injuries instead of thinking of the person who is suffering from those injuries. A substantial percentage of employees have a hard time returning to work and regaining their full capacity. Addressing their critical requirements at the onset of the injury is only the beginning. The road to recovery is long. They must get support every step of the way. Additional issues may come up as a result of the injury and these could prevent return to work. Follow-ups and coordination can address these.
3. Improve outcomes.
Employees should feel that they have a solid support system to get them through their difficulties. This helps them relax and focus on recovery instead of being stressed about how they will face their futures. Such worries can prevent them from getting better. This, in turn, will make it harder for them to return to work and get back to their normal routines. Some might even take things to court as a last resort which makes everything more expensive for both workers and employers. A more empathic approach will calm nerves and increase satisfaction with claims handling. This reduces the need for litigation.