Today’s post comes from guest author Rod Rehm, from Rehm, Bennett & Moore.
Here’s the next installment in the firm’s series that focuses on the basics of the workers’ compensation system. It gives information on how payments to injured workers and/or their families are handled.
Workers’ compensation generally pays by the week, although it may be paid bi-weekly or monthly in some circumstances. The amount of the payment is established by state laws or statutes, regulation or court decision.
Family members are paid in the event of the death of a worker arising from an accident or disease. Family members are occasionally paid for providing home-health care.
The amounts paid and duration of payment varies from state to state. Generally there is a minimum and a maximum. The maximum is usually two-thirds of the gross wages earned, with a limit that is adjusted from time to time.
To calculate the amount actually paid, most states use average wages for a specified number of weeks or months before the injury, death or disease.
Payments are made for temporary inability to work, which is generally labeled temporary total disability. There may be a waiting period before payments begin. The waiting period varies from state to state.
Payments are also made when a worker is temporarily limited to light duty and working either fewer hours or for a lower rate of pay. These benefits are called temporary partial disability.
Payments are made for permanent inability to work and, if severe enough, some states pay for the worker’s lifetime. Some states do not pay for less than lifetime. These benefits are called permanent total disability.
Payments are made for permanent reduction of the ability to work. This benefit is normally labeled permanent partial disability.
Payments that are made for loss of body parts or limited use of body parts are also labeled permanent partial disability. State law establishes the value of the various body parts.
Payments are less frequently paid while workers are participating in retraining or vocational rehabilitation. This is not a common benefit.
WORKERS’ COMPENSATION DOES NOT PAY FOR PAIN AND SUFFERING.
It is important to contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer if you have questions or concerns about any of the information shared here. Please read the previous blog posts in the workers’ compensation basics series by clicking on these links:
- What is Workers’ Compensation?
- Workers’ Compensation Basics: Are You an Employee?
- Workers’ Compensation Basics: What is a Workers’ Compensation Accident?
- Workers’ Compensation Basics: Provide Notice of Injury
- Workers’ Compensation Basics: Understanding Medical Care and Treatment
- Workers’ Compensation Basics: Choosing a Physician
- Workers’ Compensation Basics: Understanding the Injured Worker’s Right to Medical Care
- Workers’ Compensation Basics: Understanding Social Security Disability Offsets