Are You Eligible For Workers Comp If You Fail The Drug Test At Work?

Are You Eligible For Workers Comp If You Fail The Drug Test At Work?


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You might get workers compensation from your employer post-injury or accident even if you tested positive for drugs. But the company may fire you as they might have a strict drug-free policy. 

According to the law, a failed drug test will not be a factor to disqualify workers’ compensation benefits as it does not prove intoxication during the time of the accident because drugs like MMJ may stay longer in the body.

The whole purpose of workers’ compensation is to ensure that employees injured during the accident are protected in various ways. During workplace accidents, the respective employer or company must ensure that the workers’ compensation insurance pays for the medical expenses and covers other disability benefits.

The employer should provide such benefits despite you failing your drug test after injury. But, if they confirm that the accident may be due to drug intoxication, then there are meager chances that you could enjoy the full benefits of your workers’ compensation.

What Is A Workers Comp Drug Test?

Workers’ compensation drug test is a drug test conducted by companies to confirm the cause of accident or workplace injury due to the employee’s drug abuse. This would help the employer to provide deserving compensation to the particular employee. There are two ways where the companies conduct the workers’ comp drug test—one immediately after the accident and two post-recovery drug tests.

Who Is Eligible To Get A Workers’ Comp?

If you are an employer of a company and entitled to employee insurance, then you are eligible to get your workers’ comp. To obtain workers comp benefits, you should satisfy the company’s criteria to get the full compensation benefits.

As an employee of a company, you would be entitled to workers' compensation benefits and various perks and benefits as per the company’s policies. The health insurance benefit is different from the worker’s comp. The former covers any medical condition that comes under the purview of the insurance cover, but the latter covers your medical expenses and disability benefits if any workplace injury or accident happens.

If you are officially an employee of that particular company and meets with any workplace injury or accident during the working hours, you may be entitled to the workers’ comp. Make sure that you have your workers’ comp insurance card with you during the accident. The compensation may cover only legitimate accidents and not silly or unreasonable injuries. For instance, the company may help you with your medical expenses if you face any accidents while operating their machinery, but they could hardly compensate if you get injured by getting into a fight with your colleague during work hours.

Steps The Employee Could Follow To Claim Workers’ Comp

Below are some of the common steps that an employee could follow to claim your workers’ comp

  1. If you are an injured employee, you could immediately be taken to a healthcare professional after the trauma. 
  2. The healthcare professional should examine, evaluate, and give you a medical report to file for the employees' injury.
  3. You will have to produce the report and the necessary documents to claim for the workers’ comp. Do not forget to add the contact details of the company’s insurance company.
  4. Once the insurance provider approves the insurance, they could be sending coverage for medical expenses and rehabilitation (if necessary) and two-thirds of wages (if the employee is unable to work).
  5. To get the workers' comp benefits, the employee should accept the employer's insurance scheme rather than taking any insurance company's schemes.

Workers’ Comp Drug Test In Texas

You need not submit your drug test as Texas law does not make it mandatory for an employee to submit a drug test after workplace injury or accident. Still, you can claim your workers’ compensation from your company. But you might lose your job if you fail or refuse to take your drug test as it falls within the purview of your employer and the company policies. If you are in a federal job, you may have to submit a drug test to get your compensation benefits. Failing the drug test may lead to the denial of workers comp by the federal agencies. Anyways, it might differ based on the situation.

As per Texas law, you can appeal against your test results. That means, if you get a positive test result post-injury, you need not accept the test results. You can appeal for findings and request an additional drug test if you think you are unfairly represented. As per federal law, the tester may split the sample during the drug test for a confirmatory drug test. If you are undergoing a medical prescription, you need to intimate that to your tester while requesting a confirmatory test.

Do Workers Comp Cover Accidents Outside The Office Premises?

If the accident or injury does happen outside your office premises, you might not be entitled to the workers’ comp even if you test negative during the drug test. But your office health insurance cover may help you if the injury or accident satisfies the requirements.

Workers comp covers all kinds of accidents or work-related injuries in the office premises. Minor injuries or accidents that happened due to the office machinery or ambiance are not responsible and are not considered. If you are a transportation worker and face an accident on duty, you may receive your workers’ compensation. The company might have to go by the guidelines of the DOT on that matter.

Failing your DOT drug test post-accident might affect your workers’ compensation benefits. You may get your compensation but not your job back. Also, You may lose your driver’s insurance if you fail your DOT drug test.

Does Workers Comp Insurance Drug Test?

No, Insurance companies do not conduct workers comp drug tests. As per Workers’ compensation law, the hospital must take a drug test during the injury and post-injury. The results might be announced to the employer and the insurance company to make further actions regarding workers’ compensation.

After the physician conducts the drug test, the insurance company would conduct a utilization review by collecting the drug test results. If proven positive, the insurer and the company may take the test results as an active line of defence against the injured in the court to prevent the compensation claim approval. You might need an attorney to assist you in proving that you are innocent.

When Can A Workers Comp Be Denied?

Not in all cases, the company might offer you the workers’ compensation despite you refusing or failing your drug test. There are cases where the company can neglect the workers’ comp as they do not satisfy the workers’ compensation criteria.

  • Your injury was not witnessed by anyone in the office or authorized or endorsed.
  • You didn’t report your injury to the officials immediately
  • There is a mismatch between your accident report and prior medical records.
  • You fail your drug test, and the accident is confirmed that it is due to your drug intoxication.
  • You would have filed a workers' compensation claim after you lost your job or got laid off.
  • You refuse to give your insurance company a recorded statement or refused to sign medical authorizations.

Advice To The Employees Regarding The Workers Comp Drug Test

  1. If you are about to get your workers’ compensation-based drug test, you may get frequent questions about your prescription drugs or medications that you were taking lately. It is significant to open up to the doctors about your drug usage (Prescription and non-prescription or illegal drugs). 
  2. Keep your conduct in check. If there arises any suspicion related to your behavior, it may add to the negative impact on your workers’ compensation.
  3. You should keep calm if you get a positive result. You may request them for a re-test using the same sample and ask for an attorney to support your claim for your workers’ compensation if you are denied by the employer or insurance company.

Summing It Up

Workers’ compensation is a fruitful measure for the employees to consider the medical expenses during workplace injuries. Misusing such a good cause is a demeanor to the entire workforce in the country. So, it is recommended to stay clean that your drug test will not be a deterrent to get your compensation benefits even during workplace accidents.

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