Workers’ Comp for California Construction Workers: Carve Out vs. Non-Trust
Construction workers in California face unique occupational risks, making them more likely to be injured at their place of employment. So, workers’ compensation is an essential aspect of construction workers’ protection. Construction workers face various serious hazards every day, such as falls from heights, equipment accidents, and exposure to harmful substances. These factors contribute to a higher risk of injuries and accidents in this industry.
In fact, according to the California Department of Industrial Relations’ Division of Workers’ Compensation, in 2019, the construction industry had the highest number of workers’ compensation claims among all industries in California. Construction-related injuries accounted for approximately 17% of all workers’ compensation claims filed in the state.
However, workers’ compensation for construction workers is often more complicated than for employees in other industries. This is because there are two distinct systems available for construction workers compensation: Carpenters/Contractor’s Workers’ Compensation Trust (Carve Out) and Non-Trust (conventional) workers’ compensation.
Understanding the differences between these systems is crucial for construction workers, in order to know which program covers them and what benefits they are entitled to in the event of an injury or illness. In this article the California workers’ compensation attorneys at Cantrell Green explain the distinctions between “Carve Out” and “Non-Trust” workers’ compensation for construction workers.
Non-Trust (Conventional) Workers’ Compensation
Non-Trust workers’ compensation simply refers to the traditional (‘regular’) system governed by the California Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB) and the California Department of Industrial Relations. This system covers almost all industries, including construction, and provides benefits to workers who sustain work-related injuries or illnesses.
In other words, “Non-Trust” workers’ compensation covers construction workers employed by employers who are not part of a Carve Out program or a specific trust. Non-Trust workers’ compensation provides benefits such as medical treatment, temporary disability payments, permanent disability benefits, vocational rehabilitation, and supplemental job displacement benefits.
In the Non-Trust system, injured construction workers typically file claims with their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. The claims are then evaluated, and benefits are provided based on the severity and nature of the injury or illness.
Carve Out Workers’ Compensation
“Carve Out” workers’ compensation is an alternative system of workers comp available to eligible construction workers in California. It is established through special agreements between the construction workers’ labor union(s) and the employers or employer associations. The primary purpose of the Carve Out system is to provide specialized benefits and faster claims processes for construction workers.
Only those construction workers who are members of a participating labor union or covered by an employer association agreement are eligible for the Carve Out workers’ compensation system.
The Carve Out workers’ compensation programs offer tailored benefits that are different from ‘regular’ or ‘conventional’ workers comp insurance. Carve Out workers’ compensation benefits typically provide added or additional benefits for injured workers, due to the dangerous nature and frequent injury rate of construction workers.
Carve Out workers’ compensation can include improved medical treatment options, better vocational rehabilitation services, and faster, streamlined claims handling procedures. Carve Out programs also typically have their own dispute resolution processes, such as arbitration, to address disagreements between the injured worker and the employer or insurer.
Why Is There a Carve Out Workers’ Compensation System for Construction Workers?
The establishment of Carve Out workers’ compensation systems for construction workers in California is rooted in the desire to address specific needs and challenges within the construction industry. The rationale behind Carve Out programs lies in improving outcomes for injured workers, enhancing safety measures, and streamlining the claims process.
The construction industry carries inherent risks, including the potential for serious injuries and long-term health consequences. Carve Out systems allow for tailored benefits and treatment options that can better serve the specific needs of injured construction workers. These programs often emphasize timely access to quality medical care, rehabilitation services, and vocational training to help injured workers return to work or transition to alternative employment.
Carve Out workers’ compensation programs typically establish their own claims handling procedures and dispute resolution mechanisms. This streamlined process aims to expedite the resolution of workers’ compensation claims, reducing delays and potential conflicts between injured workers, employers, and insurers. By offering a more efficient system, Carve Out programs strive to ensure that injured workers receive appropriate benefits promptly.
Carve Out workers’ compensation systems often emphasize the importance of safety within the construction industry. Through collaborative efforts, employers and labor unions can implement and enforce stricter safety protocols, training programs, and ongoing risk management strategies. The goal is to prevent workplace accidents and promote a safer working environment for construction workers.
Carve Out workers’ compensation systems also evolve over time based on feedback, evaluation, and data analysis. This ongoing assessment allows for adjustments to be made to improve the effectiveness of the program and ensure it remains responsive to the needs of injured workers and the construction industry as a whole.
Am I Covered by Carve Out or Non-Trust Workers’ Compensation?
Construction workers can determine which workers’ compensation system covers them by reviewing their employment agreements, union membership status, or consulting with their employer’s human resources department. If your employer is a participant in a Carve Out program, it will be specifically indicated in those documents. Otherwise, you would generally be covered by the Non-Trust (conventional / regular) California workers’ compensation system.
Construction Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
Construction workers in California have two distinct workers’ compensation systems to consider: Carve Out and Non-Trust (conventional) workers’ comp. Although this dual system is designed to provide added benefits for construction workers, this double system can also create confusion for injured employees. The Carve Out system, established through labor union agreements, provides specialized benefits, and streamlined claims processes. On the other hand, Non-Trust workers’ compensation follows the conventional system, providing a range of benefits and coverage for workers in various industries, including construction.
Our experienced California workers’ compensation attorneys can help injured construction workers which system applies to them – to ensure they receive the appropriate benefits and protections in case of a work-related injury or illness.
If you are a construction worker who was injured, disabled, or made ill in your line of work, schedule a consultation with the experienced California workers’ compensation attorneys at Cantrell Green. We have helped thousand of construction workers obtain the workers’ compensation benefits for which they qualify. We can help you, too.
Construction Workers’ Compensation Attorneys: 800-964-8047