Workers’ compensation is unlike many other disability programs — and many employees aren’t well-informed about the type of benefits that are available.
Here are some important facts that you need to know about your right to compensation and benefits if you’ve been injured on the job:
1. You may be able to collect benefits after being out of work less than a week. Temporary disability benefits can kick in after only three days off the job in some cases.
2. You’re entitled to complete medical coverage for treatment related to your injury. This includes treatment for a pre-existing condition that was aggravated due to work. For example, if you had a worn disc in your back that was asymptomatic until you lifted a heavy box at work, your treatment for the resulting pain and disability is still covered.
3. There are four types of cash benefits that can be paid under workers’ compensation:
- Temporary Partial Disability — You’re considered partially disabled with a temporary condition, so you receive a short-term payment that compensates you for the partial loss of your wages until you recover.
- Temporary Total Disability — Your injury is entirely disabling but not expected to be permanent. For example, you fall and break both arms. You’re entitled to the maximum compensation as long as your total disability continues.
- Permanent Partial Disability — Your injury is permanent but not totally disabling. For example, if you lose the tip of a finger in an accident with a saw, that’s a permanent injury but not likely totally disabling. Once you’re able to return to work, you’re entitled to a payment (usually a lump-sum) for the permanent injury.
- Permanent Total Disability — Your injury is permanent and so severe that it is entirely disabling.
4. It’s important to understand that workers’ comp differs significantly from Social Security disability benefits, which have no provision for temporary disabilities. However, you may be entitled to both Social Security disability and workers’ compensation in some cases.
Navigating the complex world of disability benefits isn’t easy, especially when you’re injured or ill. For more information on how our firm can help with your workers’ compensation claim, please visit our page.