Generally, there are two types of workers’ compensation benefits: medical and indemnity benefits for lost wages (such as disability pay or vocational rehabilitation). The majority of states’ workers’ compensation laws provide the following categories of benefits to injured workers:
The injured party is entitled to receive any reasonable medical care required to treat or lessen the effects of the harm. This covers medication costs, hospital transportation costs, and even the cost of medical expenses. A patient may be required to see the business doctor under some plans, although typically only for a maximum of 30 days. After that, a patient may select a different physician, although they might need to make a written request.
A temporary disability payment may be given to the injured party if they are required to miss work because of injury-related medical issues. For lost wages, these payments serve as compensation. Although the pay rate is subject to certain restrictions, it often amounts to around two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly gross salary. Every two weeks, payments are made, and a doctor’s certification of inability to work is required.
Workers may be eligible for compensation for their permanent handicap if they cannot fully recover from the effects of an injury. Permanent disability denotes a loss of some ability for the wounded party to compete in the labor market against uninjured people. Age, occupation, wages at the time of the injury, and the degree of activity limitation caused by the injury all have a role in how much and how quickly permanent disability benefits are granted.
Workers’ compensation benefits may cover assistance in finding new employment (vocational rehabilitation) if an injury prohibits you from returning to work. Similar to temporary disability, a portion of the income is distributed during vocational rehabilitation. The reward for vocational rehabilitation often has a monetary cap and may be replaced by an offer of alternative employment from the employer.
What Takes Place When I Go Back To Work?
All workers’ compensation payments will likely end if the employee returns to work and earns wages equal to or higher than before the injury. However, the person may continue to get benefits if they still lose wages due to their injury. Benefits such as “temporary partial” and “temporary total” are examples of those that could be provided.
Employees who suffer a work injury and are temporarily disabled but are still able to work and make some income are eligible for temporary partial disability compensation. These benefits are often determined by the percentage difference between the employee’s pre-injury and post-injury wages.
Benefits for temporary total disability are typically provided to injured workers who are temporarily unable to work due to workplace injuries. In some jurisdictions, these benefits are paid out as a proportion of the injured worker’s pre-injury wages.
After Being Fired, Am I Still Entitled to Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
A state-mandated insurance program called workers’ compensation offers benefits to workers who sustain accidents at work. Regardless of who was at blame for the damage, an employee who sustains harm while doing their duties is entitled to benefits.
Employees typically give up their right to take their employer to court to recover damages for their injuries in exchange for workers’ compensation benefits. The laws governing workers’ compensation differ significantly from those governing other personal injury cases in this regard.
The following are just a few examples of what workers’ compensation benefits often cover:
- Income replacement;
- Medical costs;
- A long-term pension or lump amount if you are rendered permanently unable to work; or
- While you are unable to work, receive a temporary disability pension.
You must actually work for your company in order to meet workers’ compensation obligations. You cannot be regarded as an independent contractor in light of this. Additionally, your injuries must be tied to your job.
The employee’s continued employment with the employer is typically assumed when considering a workers’ compensation claim. Although this is frequently the case, some injuries do not manifest themselves until after an individual has been fired. Therefore, there are specific situations where an injured employee can continue to receive workers’ compensation benefits even after being fired.
After Being Fired, When May I Claim My Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
To be eligible for workers’ compensation, you must go through several stages that may differ by state and industry. In general, you must take the following actions:
- Inform your employer of your injury as soon as possible: It is significant to remember that some states need notice within two to thirty days of the harm. If your injury or illness gradually worsens, you must disclose it as soon as you are certain that your work is to blame;
- Take advantage of medical care and follow your doctor’s recommendations: It’s crucial to remember that your workers’ compensation claim payout could be decreased or rejected if you ignore the doctor’s recommendations and worsen your condition;
- Utilize the insurance claim forms that your employer requires you to submit your claim to the insurance provider for your employer: Usually, you can ask human resources for help getting and completing the relevant forms; and
Throughout the entire process, keep copies of all documents.
It can occasionally be quite challenging for a person to recoup their workers’ compensation payments after being fired for various reasons. Once fired, you must establish the following components to reclaim your workers’ compensation benefits:
- You actually had a bodily impairment, either momentary or long-term;
- The accident happened while you were working, within the scope of your job; and
- The injury would not have happened if you hadn’t worked at that job.
The following payments are typically recoverable if an injured worker is successful in proving that they are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits following termination:
- The price of medical and disability costs;
- court costs and attorney fees;
- cost of vocational rehabilitation; and
- Any unpaid amount will be charged interest.
The employer might also be subject to fines or other consequences, such as redesigning their safety program.
What Legal Problems Are Involved in Recovering Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Settlements related to workers’ compensation raise numerous legal concerns. What is and is not covered by workers’ compensation is one such problem. Regardless of who was at blame for the injury—the employee or the employer—workers’ compensation is designed to help injured employees. Workers’ compensation often covers accidents as long as they are related to the job.
The following are a few instances of the most typical injuries covered by workers’ compensation:
- chronic stress disorders;
- Illnesses or diseases that develop gradually as a result of poor working conditions;
- Traumatic damage to the body; and
- Multiple trauma injuries
However, there are several injuries that worker’s compensation does not cover:
- Self-inflicted wounds, including wounds received as a result of starting a fight;
- Injuries brought on by a significant offense or illicit activity;
- Injuries brought on by your behavior violating company policies;
- Injuries sustained when under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs; and
- Injuries caused by careless behavior on the part of the worker.
Do I Need to Speak with a Lawyer About Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
You should file a workers’ compensation claim immediately if you were hurt at work. A workers’ compensation attorney can assist if disagreements occur regarding the advantages of your workers’ compensation claim.
If a legal proceeding is necessary, a lawyer with experience handling workers’ compensation claims may explain the legislation and tell you of your rights.