Am I eligible to receive Workers’ Compensation benefits?
If you cannot work due to an injury sustained while either on the job or off-site performing a job-related activity, you may be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits to help you recover lost wages and medical expenses. For example, an office worker running a job-related errand who is injured in an auto accident should qualify for benefits, as well as an office employee who acquires carpal tunnel syndrome from performing years of typing at work.
What is the proper way to handle an at-work accident?
First, notify your employer as soon as the injury happens and seek medical help immediately. In addition to verbally notifying your employer, make sure to notify your employer in writing as well. These steps are not merely suggestions, but necessary elements if you want to collect workers’ compensation benefits. Also consider contacting your job’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier to make sure your employer has submitted notification of your injury.
Are there any factors that would make me ineligible or benefits?
If you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the work-related injury, you are likely not eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. The laws also state that you must not have intentionally caused the injurious conditions to occur.
If you fail to notify your employer within 30 days, you may forfeit your right to collect workers’ compensation benefits.
Will I be reimbursed for all medical expenses?
If the insurance carrier accepts your workers’ compensation claim, you should be reimbursed for all medical costs associated with your on-the-job injury. Your attorney can explain the coverage laws and contact your carrier to find out exactly what is authorized. In some states, you must use certain healthcare providers that have been pre-approved by your insurance carrier.
What benefit amount am I entitled to through workers’ compensation?
Workers’ compensation benefits vary in each state, but a starting point for most states is that claimants with permanent total disability (PTD) receive 2/3 of the average weekly wage they were earning at the time of disability. Injured employees with temporary total disability (TTD) can receive 2/3 of their wages only during the limited time period of the disability. State laws limit the amount of total benefits an injured employee can receive over the employee’s lifetime. Talk to a well-credentialed workers’ compensation attorney about the laws in your area and how they may affect your benefits.
When is an injured worker considered to have PTD, or permanent total disability?
Workers’ compensation laws state that an injured employee is permanently, totally disabled if they are not able to perform sedentary work within a 50 mile radius of their home. Paraplegia, blindness, brain injuries, and severe burn injuries are examples of types of permanent total disability.