Workers’ compensation was designed to help injured workers cope and recovery from the injury, regardless of who was at fault. Â While your workers’ compensation benefits should minimally cover medical care and expenses directly related to your work injury, it can ultimately provide much more than that. Â Ideally, and with the help of a lawyer, your benefits will extend to rehabilitation expenses and disability income. In fact, a skilled lawyer could win you benefits up to eighty percent of your previous salary. Here is a summary of the three types of workers’ compensation benefits:
Medical care includes hospital and health care facility visits that are needed to diagnose and treat your work-related injury or illness. This may also include medication, surgery, special equipment (such as a wheelchair), counseling, pain therapy, and acupuncture, depending on laws determined by state. Laws in some states allow you to choose your own doctor, while others give that right to the employer and insurance company. There may also be limits on the amount of medical expenses the doctor is permitted to charge. Generally, only mainstream forms of medical treatment and practices are covered. If you are interested in seeking non-traditional, experimental, or holistic forms of medical care, you should consult with a lawyer about the best way to win this type of coverage.
Rehabilitation is the cost of recovery and transition back into the workplace after your injury. Rehabilitation benefits may include follow-up medical care, physical and psychiatric therapy, and any retraining required to return to your place of employment. If you are unable to perform your previous job duties because of the injury, benefits may cover any expenses associated with the transition into a new position or place of employment. This could include professional evaluation, tuition, and career training.
Disability benefits are meant to compensate for your lost income and help you provide for your family while you are unable to work because of the injury. The amount of disability benefits you receive will be based on the rate of pay you earned before you were injured. You will most likely not receive the same amount in benefits that you previously earned in wages. Many states limit this to eighty percent of your monthly income prior to your injury. However, eighty percent is still considered a high payout and most insurance companies will not hand over this amount easily. Also note, you won’t have to pay income tax on the benefits. If you want the best chance of the highest amount of disability benefits, you must work with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer. This is only general information applicable in most states. Please consult with a local lawyer for advice on your specific situation.