As a working American, you have a right to certain benefits, including compensation for injuries sustained while working. In California, employers are required to protect their workers by insuring themselves in preparation for issues arising from workers’ compensation – but just like anywhere else, there are always a few bad eggs. In other words, despite it being against the law for employers to operate without workers’ compensation insurance, workers are still under risk of finding out too late that they are working for someone who cannot or will not comply with the law. Employers that are found to be operating without workers’ compensation insurance may face huge fines and even jail time for failing to provide the proper protection for their personnel – but what happens to workers that are injured while working for these uninsured employers?
This is where the Uninsured Employers Benefits Trust Fund (UEBTF) comes in. In order to assist those who have been victimized by their own employer’s failure to comply with the law, the California State Government set up a source fund intended to advance money for employee claims and provide the compensation and care that every American worker is entitled to. The State will then reimburse the fund’s expenses by charging the cost of workers’ compensation claims to the appropriate and relevant employers. This shows how serious the American government is when it comes to protecting their citizens – but this does not mean the system is flawless in any sense of the word.
Even simply filing a claim with the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) can prove challenging if those filing are unfamiliar with the process – and may even require some to hire attorneys just to make sense of the whole grueling process. Upon approval of a claim, the WCAB will order the UEBTF to shell out money for that employee in place of the employer. The problem is, if the UEBTF somehow fails to provide the funds required to assist a rightful claimant, it cannot be held accountable. That means it is possible for someone to go through the entire claim process without getting anything for it, despite their right to compensation. While it can be harrowing to consider the most negative of possibilities, the chances of the worst-case scenario happening decrease significantly if the claimant is guided by someone familiar with the whole process.