Does Workers’ Comp Cover Lost Wages?
If you’re hurt at work, you may already know you need to file a workers’ compensation claim to pay your medical bills. But what about your wages? If you need to be out of work recovering from surgery or healing from an injury, how will you pay your bills? What if you can’t go back to work, or can’t do the same job after your injury?
Workers’ Comp and Wages
When HammondTownsend files your workers’ comp claim on your behalf, we will ask for all the benefits you’re entitled to. These benefits include money for lost wages.
You will not get your entire regular paycheck back from workers’ compensation. The law only allows you to get up to 2/3 of your regular paycheck, and there are some restrictions.
Temporary Disability and Pay
If you have temporary partial disability benefits, you may be working a different, lower-paid job temporarily while you recover from your injury. Temporary partial disability benefits will give you up to 2/3 of the difference between your regular job and your temporary job, up to a maximum of $1,082 per week. So if your regular job pays $20/hour and your temporary job pays $12/hour, that is a difference of $8/hour. Two-thirds of that difference is $5.33/hour, so you would get $213.2 for 40 hours of work from workers’ comp, plus the regular $15/hour pay you’re getting.
If you have temporary total disability benefits, you’re unable to work while you’re healing. In this case, you’ll get 2/3 of your gross (before taxes) average weekly pay. If you’ve been getting an average of $600/week before taxes and benefits, for example, you would be entitled to $400/week with temporary total disability benefits. This benefit only kicks in if you’re unable to work for at least 7 days, and has some other restrictions including length of time you’ll receive it.
You’re only able to get one of these kinds of benefits at any given time, and both of these benefits will stop when you can start your regular job again.
Permanent Disability and Pay
If you permanently lose the ability to use a body part, you’ll get permanent partial disability benefits. A doctor will certify that you are as healed as you are going to get, and will follow guidelines to say how much you’re unable to work,from 0% to 100%. The rating that you get determines the money that your benefits will pay you.
If you lose two major body parts, such as both feet, in an accident at work you’ll get permanent and total disability benefits. You’ll first receive temporary total disability benefits until you reach the maximum allowed time, and then you’ll switch to permanent and total disability benefits.