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A worker's compensation specialist is a person who has received additional training in the law regarding worker’s compensation. There are many different disciplines that might require someone to become a specialist in this field. People who are insurance agents or underwriters, attorneys, or those who manage safety and risk for companies all might take training in worker's compensation issues.
In the US, many people who claim to be worker's compensation specialists are registered with the National Registry of Worker’s Compensation Specialists. This registry allows people to take both training and an examination. The training is usually 12 hours of class work followed by an Internet examination of 50 questions. One must answer 70% of these questions prior to being registered as a specialist.
Initial training reviews the laws of worker’s compensation as set out by the US government. Some programs offer study at home options to allow for greater time to prepare for testing. In some cases, work experience may be substituted for actual classes. The specialist must understand worker’s compensation as it relates to the employee and the corporation.
As well as the initial examination, the registered worker's compensation specialist must complete approximately 15 hours of continuing education every three years, in order to maintain registration, although individual states may have different requirements. This person is also expected to keep abreast of any changes at the federal or state level to worker’s comp laws.
The worker's compensation specialist may work in a diverse number of fields. Some attorneys, for example, may work for employees who feel they were wrongly denied worker's compensation. Alternately, an attorney who is a specialist in this area might defend a company that is accused of denying benefits to an employee.
A specialist working in the insurance field might help companies by writing policies and determining costs to cover worker’s comp claims. Those who manage safety and risk might apply their special knowledge to help companies reduce risk to employees getting injured, or to determine such risk so an insurance company charges appropriate amounts.