Expenses Your Employer’s Insurance Covers
When you are hurt at work — and now you’re Too Hurt To WorkTM — the workers’ compensation system is supposed to give you financial help, and quickly.
Workers’ comp works like a compromise between workers and employers. When it works correctly, both sides get something out of it: You get fast help when you’re hurt. Your employer avoids getting sued for pain and suffering.
It’s set up to be the sole method for workers to get benefits when they’re hurt on the job.
That makes it a special legal system. Workers’ comp handles injuries differently from other types of law, like personal injury cases after car wrecks.
If your employer or their insurance company isn’t holding up their end of the deal, you need a lawyer who understands this system.
You could receive three basic kinds of benefits:
- INDEMNITY BENEFITS: Payment for two-thirds of your lost wages, up to a limit
- MEDICAL: Payment for medical expenses from your injury
- VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION: Orientation for a new kind of job if your injury prevents you from doing your past work – but no guarantees you’ll be able to get the new job
What Kinds of Indemnity Benefits Can You Get?
A common misconception among workers is that they will get 100% of their lost wages – called indemnity benefits – under workers’ comp.
But that’s not how it works. You’re entitled to about two-thirds of the wages you earned in the four weeks before your accident.
And even that has a limit. In 2017, you could receive up to $650 a week in indemnity benefits.
So if you’re a higher wage earner, the cap will limit your income significantly.
Your payments for lost wages also vary with the severity of the injury you have:
- UNDER TEMPORARY TOTAL DISABILITY (TTD), you get indemnity benefits until your doctor says you can work again in some capacity.
- UNDER SUPPLEMENTAL EARNING BENEFITS (SEB), you get payment to help make up for the drop in your earning power if you can still work but your injury leads to a long-term disability. These benefits are limited to 10 years at most.
- UNDER PERMANENT PARTIAL DISABILITY (PPD), you can still do some limited work and receive some workers’ comp indemnity benefits based on the anatomical loss to the injured body part.
- PERMANENT TOTAL DISABILITY (PTD) pays benefits when your injury was so severe you can never work again. You should receive workers’ comp benefits indefinitely.
It takes a lot of experience and knowledge to navigate all the types of workers’ comp. Mitchell & Associates can guide you through. We’ll provide an initial assessment of your case for free.