Benefits You Should Receive
When you were hurt at work — and now you’re Too Hurt To WorkTM — bills pile up fast. You’re worried about money. You’re facing one of the hardest times you’ve ever faced.
The workers’ compensation system is supposed to provide help to keep you financially stable. And the benefits are supposed to start fast.
This is what workers’ comp covers:
- Indemnity Benefits: Payment for two-thirds of your lost wages, up to a limit
- Medical: Payment for medical expenses from your injury, including doctor visits, reimbursement for prescription medications and travel to medical appointments
- 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
The workers’ comp system is complicated. Mitchell & Associates will provide an initial assessment of your case for free.
What Indemnity Benefits Cover
A common misconception among workers is that they will get 100% of their lost wages 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.
Indemnity benefits are meant to help you keep up with basic expenses after you’re hurt on the job.
With indemnity benefits, you receive weekly checks. They continue until your doctor says you can return to work. The checks can continue for short periods of time, or they can last for years.
You get indemnity benefits when you fit into these categories:
- Temporary Total Disability (TTD) is the most common kind of indemnity benefit. Under TTD, your injuries are bad enough that you cannot work at all for a period of time. You get these until your doctor says you can work again.
- Supplemental Earning Benefits (SEB) cover you if you can still work but your injury has left you with a long-term disability. Under SEB, you get benefits to help make up for the drop in your earning power. It covers you for 10 years at a time.
- Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) sends you payments if you can still do some limited work but the body part you injured suffered a permanent anatomical loss.
- Permanent Total Disability (PTD) pays benefits when your injury was so severe that you can never work again. You should receive workers’ comp benefits indefinitely.
What Medical Benefits Cover
Workers’ comp should cover all costs of your medical treatment after you were hurt at work.
You should never have to pay for medical treatment out of pocket for your workplace injury. That includes costs of travel to the doctor’s office and costs for prescription drugs.
And you should be able to see the doctor of your choice.
If you get a bill for medical care for your injury – or your employer tries to keep you going to a company doctor – a lawyer can step in and make sure the process works in your favor.
Mitchell & Associates has extensive experience with the workers’ comp system.
What Vocational Rehabilitation Covers
Vocational rehabilitation may have been created with good intentions, to help you find training and jobs and orient you to return to the workforce after an injury kept you out.
But there’s a problem: Your vocational caseworker could use the rehabilitation program as a tool to get you off workers’ comp benefits, regardless of whether you can get another job.
Be careful when you’re contacted by a vocational rehabilitation caseworker.
Contact an experienced workers’ comp attorney to be sure all of your benefits and rights are protected.