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Are teachers eligible for workers’ comp?

On Behalf of | Nov 5, 2019 | Workers' Compensation |

Teachers and workers’ comp

If you are a teacher, you have probably experienced some struggles related to your job.

It is a common conception in our culture that teachers are undervalued and underpaid. Teachers are responsible for cultivating the skills and knowledge in our young ones that will make them productive members in society, and sometimes the treatment they receive in return is disheartening.

Beyond the usual stressors of the job, teachers also can get physically injured on the job. You may be aware that workers’ compensation is available to people who get injured at work, but did you ever consider that it could be open to teachers, too?

Workplace injuries among teachers

  • Exposure to toxic materials – This could happen in the form of handling toxic substances or being exposed to them in the environment. For example, a science teacher may have these materials in their classroom for instruction and could get injured after accidentally being exposed to them. As far as the environment, there could be asbestos present in the school building. If teachers are exposed to it over a prolonged period, it could eventually cause health problems.
  • Student-inflicted injuries – The National Teacher and Principal Survey (NTPS) asked public school teachers during the 2015-16 school year if they had either been threatened or physically attacked in the last year. Ten percent said that a student had threatened to harm them, and six percent said that a student had physically assaulted them. Now, by no means is this a common trend among teachers, but it is prevalent enough for educators to be wary.
  • Repetitive stress injuries – Being a teacher can be physically demanding, from standing for hours every day to bending, to heavy lifting. All of this can take a toll on their bodies over time, until one day they need medical intervention.

What teachers should know before filing

If you are a teacher who got injured on the job and are interested in pursuing workers’ comp, here are a few things to know before getting started:

  • You may be entitled to medical, rehabilitation, and income benefits
  • Authorized medical bills and prescriptions are subject to reimbursement
  • Your employer must supply you with a list of at least six approved doctors for your medical treatment. If it was an emergency and you sought care from a doctor not on the list, you must switch over to an approved one

Getting injured on the job can disrupt people’s lives, but there are resources out there to help you. If you need guidance while navigating a workers’ compensation claim, an experienced attorney can help you.