When you are covered under a Workers’ Compensation claim, there are two components to your coverage: medical bills and compensation payments.
And when it comes to compensation payments, there are many different forms of compensation that can be paid to an injured worker, depending on his/her status and the willingness of the doctor to certify disability. Compensation paid under a claim is exempt from taxation at the federal, state, and local levels.
There are benefits payable while off work and recuperating from the injury or a medical procedure for treatment of the injury.
If an individual cannot return to the job s/he was doing when injured and suffers a wage loss as a result, a wage loss supplement is payable although there are stringent and technical rules that must be followed in order to qualify.
Where the injury results in the total loss or total loss of use of a body part, compensation is payable for the loss sustained.
In the event that the injury/disease is so disabling as to preclude return to any form of employment, lifetime benefits can be paid to the injured worker in addition to pensions and Social Security or similar disability/retirement benefits.
And where the injury results in any permanent problems, even if there is never any lost time from work, the injured worker is entitled to receive an award of compensation for the permanent physical and/or emotional impairments that persist. Many people refer to this benefit as their “settlement”, although the term settlement is certainly not appropriate. Unlike a settlement which closes a claim forever, receipt of compensation payments under a claim often extends the life of the claim for future medical care or addition compensation payments.
The foregoing is just a sampling of benefits that can be paid under a claim. Other benefit payments may be made as well, depending on circumstances. However, in order to qualify for payments, there are often strict rules which must be followed and timelines adhered to and, as always, the injured worker has the burden of proof. Unfortunately, you can’t always rely on the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation or your employer to fully advise you of your rights.
That’s why is it wise to consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney when you have questions. Please feel free to take advantage of a free copy of our Workers’ Compensation Bill of Rights. And for more information, please visit the firm at www.gallonlaw.com.
Bill Takacs, President and Managing Partner