Just about everyone knows if they get hurt on the job they can apply for workers’ compensation benefits. What many people don’t know, however, is how much they are entitled to collect, or even whether or not their injury makes them eligible at all.
Without this knowledge, it can come as a real shock when you receive less than you may have been expecting for your injury, especially if your claim is denied outright. Explore the process of getting workers’ comp benefits, including how much you may be entitled to collect to recover from your injury and get back to work.
What Workers’ Comp Benefits Can I Collect?
Any time you’re hurt on the job you may be entitled to workers’ comp benefits. This includes any accident you have in the course of work, from repeated motion injuries like carpal tunnel to tripping and falling over a box in the supply room or even driving to a client’s location.
However, it’s important to understand that a workers’ comp claim is not the same as a personal injury claim. Worker’s compensation is designed solely to help you pay for your direct injuries and recover so you can get back to work. Specifically, workers’ comp covers the following:
- Payment of your medical expenses
- Costs of vocational rehabilitation
- Impairment benefit payments
- Recovery of a portion of lost wages
Any and all reasonable medical treatments you receive for your injury should be covered under workers’ compensation. This includes doctor’s visits, medical procedures, medications and transportation costs for getting to the doctor. Insurance companies often challenge medical expenses, claiming they are not necessary or have gone on too long.
This doesn’t mean physical rehab to get your body working. It means job training. If your injury means you can no longer do your prior work, you may be eligible for compensation to train into a new career.
Impairment benefits are also known as disability. There are two forms of disability—temporary disability means you will eventually get better, while permanent disability means you’re not likely to improve. This is sometimes called “MMI,” or Maximum Medical Improvement. It means you’ve improved as much as you can and probably won’t get any better. Disability benefits are based on your individual injury.
Another breakdown that affects the impairment benefits you’ll receive is whether you have total or partial disability. Total disability means you’re unable to work again, at any job. Partial disability means you may be able to work at a new career.
Weekly compensation is designed to help you recover a portion of your wages so you can continue to pay bills and make ends meet. You can only receive this form of compensation for temporary disability for a limited time, while permanent disability benefits carry on indefinitely (in some areas they may terminate at the retirement age of 65).
Usually, your benefits for total disability are calculated at 60% of your average weekly wage, or AWW, before you were injured, usually capped at about $1,000 per week maximum. Partial disability reduces your AWW by the amount of hours you are currently able to work.
Seeking Help with Your Claim
If you’re trying to get workers’ comp benefits, and think you deserve more than you’ve been awarded, your best bet is to seek help from a qualified worker’s comp attorney. Read what people say about Disparti Law Group, and get in touch with us for a free case evaluation today.