What kind of benefits can injure workers receive?
If a worker gets injured during the course of employment, the worker is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
Workers Compensation is known to be a no-fault benefit program. This program provides compensation for lost wages and medical costs that are related to work injuries. This means that if you develop an occupational illness or are hurt on the job, you shouldn’t have to pay for your medical treatment. Also, if the injury requires you to stay away from work, a wage replacement payment should be offered to you.
Unfortunately, this does not happen all the time. Some employers might deny that the accident took place at work thereby distancing themselves from any responsibility. The workers’ compensation insurance carrier of the employer may delay your claim unjustly. Also, your supervisor may wrongly classify you as an independent contractor.
Whenever all these scenarios happen, or if you find it difficult to claim your workers’ compensation benefits, the best thing to do is to speak to a lawyer or an attorney. They will help you obtain the benefits that you deserve.
All that said, we are now going to take a look at the basic types of worker’s compensation benefits. These benefits include medical treatment, disability, rehabilitation, and death benefits.
Medical Treatment Benefits
The worker’s compensation pays for the hospital bills and other necessary medical expenses. These bills are paid for the treatment of work-related illnesses or injuries. However, it might differ in each state. Medical benefits basically cover medication, surgeries, and visits. If equipment such as a wheelchair is needed to deal with the injury, worker’s compensation will provide it. In some cases, worker’s compensation cover services like pain therapy, acupuncture, and counseling.
Aside from emergency care, the advance authorization would be needed for medical treatment. Also, note that the benefit only covers generally accepted medical practices. But if you like to use an investigative or experimental treatment, you might need to get an attorney.
State laws differ when it comes to who chooses your health care provider. You or your employer. In some states, there could be regulations on the charges of the health care provider.
If an employee can no longer work due to an illness or injury procured at work, he then gets a disability benefit. This benefit is categorized into four aspects. They are detailed below.
Temporary Total Disability
This disability prevents the employee from working at all. But this is going to be for a limited amount of time. In simple terms, the employee would return to work after recovering from the illness or injury. Temporary disability payment comes to an end when you’ve recovered enough to resume work or when the doctor says you wouldn’t recover anymore. Several states have their limits when it comes to temporary disability payment.
Temporary Partial Disability
This disability prevents an employee from doing his normal job for a short while. But the employee can do some work during this period. For example, the doctor might say you could work only three hours a day during your recovery from an injury. You can also receive benefits that allow you to cover up your earnings during the time of injury.
Permanent Partial Disability
This disability comprises of some permanent damage from illness or injuries at the workplace. This disability often impairs the employee’s ability to work. This benefit is to compensate employees with these impairments. But states often limits the duration of payment.
Permanent Total Disability
This type of disability prevents employees from returning back to work. It is a state of permanent damage. The rules responsible for determining the benefits of this disability are complicated. They also vary among different states. Generally, an employee doesn’t need to be completely incapacitated before receiving this benefit.
The amount of all the disability benefits solely depends on the amount the employee was earning before the injury. In most cases, it is two-thirds of the employee’s wages.
Rehabilitation benefits pay for therapeutic and medical care. They are necessary to help recover and cope with illness and injuries procured from work. They may also cover the training and care that are crucial to regaining the abilities and skills needed to return to work.
Several states provide vocational rehabilitation that pays for tuition, retraining, evaluation, and other expenses related to your recovery from illness or injury. This oftentimes happens when you can no longer continue your former job. The benefit helps in seeking a different job.
Most states provide death benefits when employees die as a result of their work-related illnesses or injuries. This benefit is given to the relatives and family members who are financially dependent on the dead employee. Although death benefits might cover some funeral expenses, its major purpose is to compensate the family for the loss of financial support. In most states, the benefit is calculated as a percentage of the dead employee’s earnings. Some states have minimum and maximum payouts while some state pays a huge sum.
In some cases, the relationship between the dead employee and the relative might cause legal issues. States have different rules for children, spouses, stepchildren, unmarried partners, children born outside marriage, and other relatives such as siblings, in-laws, and parents.
No Benefits for Suffering and Pain
The laws guiding worker’s compensation do not provide benefits for suffering and pain. They are generally income protection laws. Employees that are injured receive benefits because they cannot work. However, if the pain is the reason the employee cannot work, then he or she will receive weekly compensation. This weekly compensation also differs from state to state.
How Much Time Do I Have to File a Benefit Claim?
15 days is all you have to report a work-related injury. This is always from the time of the accident or the moment the doctor tells you that your illness or injury is work-related. Once the injury happens, you should tell your boss about it. This will prevent delay in filing for your worker’s compensation claim.
If you experience any difficulty in filing your claim, do not hesitate to contact an attorney or a lawyer.