Workers’ compensation insurance provides benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries regardless of how the accident occurred or who was at fault. However, the injury or illness must have occurred in the course of employment. If you are found to be eligible, workers compensation benefits can include:
- Medical benefits – Workers compensation pays for all of your reasonable and hospital and medical treatment and prescription costs related to the work injury. However, you must use their doctor and other health care providers.
- Temporary total disability benefits – When your injury causes you to be disabled for more than seven days, you can receive disability payments. Most employees receive 70 percent of their average weekly salary. The payments stop when the workers compensation doctor determines that you are able to go back to work or if your treatment has reached the point of maximum medical improvement.
- Permanent partial disability benefits – When your work related injury results in a partial but permanent disability, your weekly payment amount is calculated based on an existing schedule. An injury to your arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet, toes, eyes, ears or teeth are called scheduled losses and there is a chart to determine the benefit amount. All other injuries, including neck and back injuries, are called non-scheduled losses.
- Permanent total disability benefits – When your disability is permanent, you continue to get disability benefit payments of 70 percent of your average salary. This benefit is initially granted for a period of 450 weeks, but it can be extended if you can prove you are not physically fit to be employed.
- Death benefits – The surviving spouse and natural children who were a part of the decedent’s household at the time of death are eligible for death benefits at the rate of 70 percent of the weekly wage of the deceased family member.
Proving eligibility for long-term workers compensation benefits can be a complicated and long process. The services of experienced workers compensation attorney can prove invaluable in your fight to receive the benefits to which you are entitled by law.