Wage loss is a form of compensation afforded to injured workers who are suffering a reduction in earnings because they cannot return to the job they held before the injury, as a direct result of the allowed physical or psychiatric conditions in the claim. Wage loss is available for both those workers who are working in a position other than his or her former position of employment, as well as those workers who have been released to return to work, with restrictions, but are unable to find employment. And, on its face, wage loss is an appropriate financial supplement for workers who are injured at work, and are suffering a wage loss as a result of that injury. Unfortunately, the requirements for a successful wage loss package are, and have always been, incredibly complex.
The new wage loss rules add a further hurdle for injured workers to an already complicated area of law. The new wage loss rules generally into four areas: a definition section which has been both reorganized, and altered, significantly in some cases; guidelines for online job searches; exceptions to supplemental job searches; and finally rules for positions likely to become comparably paying work. They are to be sure, intricate and potentially problematic for injured workers who do not heed these new requirements. For example, previously online job searches were for all intents and purposes not permitted for a successful wage loss package, despite the fact that it is 2014. Online job searches are now permitted, but require documented, reliable evidence of the entire application process: from the initial job posting to the final submission of the application or resume.
It is important for you to know your rights under the workers’ compensation system and not rely on your employer or the Bureau for a successful wage loss package. Our workers’ compensation attorneys would be happy to meet with you about your rights at your convenience.