What Are the Four Types of Workers Comp Benefits?
If you get hurt on the job, your injuries should be covered by workers compensation. As long as you meet the eligibility criteria, you should start receiving workers comp benefits after a couple of weeks. The question you may be asking yourself is what sort of benefits you’ll receive. These benefits can change from year to year. Thankfully, our North Carolina injury attorneys are very familiar with the law.
Basically, there are 4 types of workers comp benefits. One of the major benefits you’ll receive is medical coverage for any treatment you need as a result of your workplace accident. The other 3 types all have to do with financial benefits.
Here, we’ll discuss two things. First, we’ll go over the requirements for qualifying for workers comp in Charlotte, North Carolina. Second, we’ll go over the 4 types of workers comp benefits you’ll receive. If you still have questions after reading this article, that’s okay. You can give us a call and schedule your free, initial consultation.
You Must Meet Certain Criteria to Qualify for Workers Comp Benefits
If you don’t meet certain criteria, you won’t receive any workers comp benefits. In order to be eligible, you must meet the following requirements:
- Your accident happened while on duty
- You were acting within the scope of your employment at the time of your injury
- You weren’t under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of your injury
- Your medical treatment was provided by a state-approved doctor
- You comply with all treatment recommendations
- You reported the accident immediately
If you fail to meet any or all of these requirements, your claim will be denied.
One of the Workers Comp Benefits You’ll Receive is Medical Coverage
At a minimum, people out on workers compensation are entitled to medical care. As long as the treatment is related to your workplace accident, it will be covered. This care will continue until your doctor determines you’ve met maximum medical improvement (MMI).
Your medical care will cover the following:
- Ambulance ride
- Doctor’s visits
- Durable medical equipment
- Physical therapy
Of course, this is not an exhaustive list. There are certainly other medical expenses related to your accident that may be covered.
It’s also important to note – If the doctor says you’ve reached MMI and you don’t agree, your North Carolina injury attorneys can get a second opinion. The North Carolina Industrial Commission will consider both reports before they make their final decision.
You’ll Also Be Entitled to Replacement Wages
Once you miss at least 7 days from work, you’ll be eligible for replacement wages. These benefits are meant to make up for the weekly paychecks you would’ve received had you not gotten hurt. Since your employer is legally responsible for your injuries, they must make you whole.
There are 4 different types of replacement wages. Here, we’ll discuss each one.
Temporary Total Disability
This is perhaps the most common type of benefit paid out under workers compensation. Whenever an employee is unable to work due to a workplace accident, they’ll receive these benefits. The way it works is that every week, you’ll receive a check.
It will be equal to 2/3 of your average weekly wages. This figure is determined by looking back at the last 52 weeks of your payroll records. Whatever the average of that 52-week period is, you’ll receive 2/3 of it every week. You can only collect up to $1,184 per week. If 2/3 of your average weekly wages is more than that, you’ll be limited to this cap.
Temporary Partial Disability
These benefits are rather rare. Most people who get hurt at work aren’t able to work until they reach maximum medical improvement (MMI). However, if you’re still able to work part-time or fill a light-duty position, you’ll receive temporary partial disability benefits.
The amount will be 2/3 of the difference in your earnings. If you were making $500 per week before the injury and now, you’re only making $250 per week, you’ll receive approximately $150 per week. This is 2/3 of the difference between $500 and $250.
Permanent Partial Disability
These benefits are determined when you finally return to work. If the doctor determines that you’ve injured a body part to the point where it will permanently impact your job, you may be entitled to these benefits. Each body part is worth a certain number of weeks.
For example, your back is going to be worth more than a finger. The number of weeks is multiplied by 2/3 of your average weekly wages. Then this amount is paid to you in a lump sum. Keep in mind – you only have 2 years from the date of this lump sum to reopen your case. Once the 2 years have passed, you can’t come back and ask for more money.
Permanent Total Disability
PTD is paid under limited circumstances to an injured employee who meets certain criteria. These employees are entitled to disability payments for life. It is paid when an employee has lost both arms, both hands, both feet, both legs, both eyes, or any combination of multiple body parts.
It also covers spinal injuries that result in paralysis and severe brain injuries.
How Long Can You Collect Workers Comp Benefits?
North Carolina is one of the friendlier states when it comes to workers comp benefits. You can collect temporary partial disability benefits for up to 500 weeks. Once the 500 weeks pass, your benefits will stop. Your temporary partial disability benefits will last the same length of time.
It’s important to remember – if you reach MMI after just 50 weeks, that does not mean you’ll get a lump sum for the remaining 450 weeks. Nor can you choose to stay out of work longer than you deserve. Once the doctor says you’re ready to go back to work, that’s it.
You can seek a second opinion, however, there’s no guarantee that your doctor’s opinion will prevail. It all depends on what the Industrial Commission believes. If your doctor’s report is accepted, you’ll be able to collect workers comp benefits until you are once again determined to have reached MMI.
Contact One of Our Personal Injury Attorneys in Charlotte
If you or your loved one have been hurt at work, you should be eligible to receive workers comp benefits. It’s just a matter of determining what benefits will be allowed in your case. Since each case is different, there’s no way to say for sure how this will work out for you. What a personal injury attorney in Charlotte will do is review your case and give you our best prediction of your workers comp benefits.
We suggest you contact our office as soon as possible after your workplace accident. This way, you can rest assured that your claim will be filed properly. We’ll also make sure you get the benefits to which you’re entitled. When your employer learns that you’ve hired a team of North Carolina injury attorneys, they’ll realize they can’t take advantage of you. This will go a long way toward getting you the workers comp benefits you deserve.