If you have been hurt in a work-related accident, you may be entitled to a number of benefits, depending on your location. In most cases, though, workers who have an approved claim can expect to be paid for their medical expenses and a wage replacement benefit too. Read on to find out more about the wage replacement benefit.
Recuperating At Home
Not all workplace injuries will include a lot of time away from work. The way home recuperation benefits work is up to your doctor. After they evaluate your injury, the doctor will order you to stay home for a period of time and then reevaluate you periodically. While you are ordered to be at home, you may not earn your regular salary. Instead, you will be paid a disability wage. This payment is a lot different from your regular pay in the following ways:
- The money paid is about 66.6% of your regular pay (it varies by state).
- No taxes are taken out of the pay.
- The pay is usually paid weekly, but getting lump sums for a month in advance may be possible with some plans.
- No taxes are owed on the money as it is not considered income.
- If you have health insurance premiums taken out of your pay, you might need to pay that sum directly, so talk to your human resources section about that.
- If you make contributions to a 401(k) or another retirement plan, you might need to make those separately too.
How Long Will Your Recuperation Last?
You might think that no one knows how long an injury will take to heal, but the workers' comp insurer for your employer may think they know that information. They have data on thousands of injuries to compare with yours, and they may expect you to return to work by a given date. If you are not ready, don't return to work even if your doctor orders you to do so. You might make your condition worse.
Why and How to Take Action
There could come a time during your convalescence where you disagree with the insurer, your employer, or the doctor about your case. You may be able to get things straightened out on your own, but many workers need more help than that. Speak to a workers' compensation lawyer if you are told to return to work and are still hurting. If you are unable to return to work and the insurer rules you to be permanently disabled, don't accept a settlement offer before you speak to an attorney. You may never be able to earn an income again, and the terms and amount of the settlement are very important. Talk to a workers' compensation lawyer if you are dealing with any workers' comp issues today.