There are 12,600 workers injured a day, according to the National Safety Council. If you or a loved one sustained a work-related injury or illness, you could be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance intended to help cover expenses related to accidents in the workplace. At Lewis & Keller, we know that workers’ compensation can be difficult to understand. For this reason, our team of Winston-Salem workers’ compensation attorneys has provided the information below to bring clarity to the different types of benefits available under workers’ comp.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits: What You Can Expect
If you filed a workers’ compensation claim and were approved to receive benefits, you can generally expect to obtain the following:
- Paid medical expenses
- Vocational rehabilitation services
- Payment for time spent away from work
- Payment for the loss of a loved one
One of the advantages of workers’ comp is that your medical bills related to the accident may be covered even before your claim is formally approved. Once your claim is approved, then you may be entitled to receive additional workers’ comp benefits.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits
When you sustain an injury on the job, you have a right to workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation can include the following types of benefits:
If you or a loved one were injured or suffered an illness related to your job, your medical expenses will most likely be covered as long as the treatment is necessary for your recovery. In most cases, if your doctor recommends a particular treatment, workers’ compensation should cover the expenses.
Depending on the type of injury or illness you have experienced, necessary treatment can include surgeries, physical therapy, and numerous doctor’s visits.
When an injury or illness results in an inability to work, disability benefits may be applicable. This type of benefit is intended to help cover lost wages. There are four different types of disability benefits available:
Temporary Partial Disability (TPD)
Temporary partial disability is designed for injured workers whose condition doesn’t completely prevent them from working but limits their work responsibilities and pay.
In other words, if your work-related injury hinders your pre-injury capabilities and wages, you may be eligible to obtain TPD benefits. This type of benefit is awarded at two-thirds of your average weekly wages up to the weekly maximum amount.
Temporary Total Disability (TTD)
If you’re temporarily unable to return to work as a result of your injury or illness, you may be eligible to obtain TTD benefits. Similar to temporary partial disability benefits, TTD compensates you for two-thirds of your average weekly wages up to the maximum amount that a worker can obtain. This amount is adjusted annually, according to the North Carolina Industrial Commission.
You can receive this type of benefit until you’re able to return to work or you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI). Reaching MMI means that further treatment is unlikely to improve your current condition.
Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)
If you suffer a permanent injury or illness that partially hinders your capacity to work, then PPD benefits may be available.
The North Carolina Industrial Commission provides a schedule of injuries that are considered partially disabling, along with the rate and period of compensation for each. For example, for the loss of an arm, you may receive two-thirds of your average weekly wages over the course of 240 weeks.
Permanent Total Disability (PTD)
Permanent total disability is designed for individuals whose injuries or illnesses are so severe that they’re unable to work any type of job. In this case, they may receive benefits for life. However, in order to obtain this type of benefit, you have to meet the required criteria.
If you lost a loved one as a direct result of a work-related injury or illness, you may be entitled to death benefits and burial expenses. This type of benefit is available for immediate family members to help cover their loss of financial support.
While workers’ compensation benefits can help alleviate some of the stress associated with work-related injuries or illnesses, it can be overwhelming to handle the legal process without proper guidance. For this reason, consulting an experienced attorney is in your best interest.
Should I Keep Records During My Claim?
It’s imperative that you keep detailed records of everything related to your accident throughout the claims process. This can include:
Time spent away from work
If you have to miss time from work to recover from your injuries or attend doctor’s appointments, it’s important to document that lost time.
You may be reimbursed for out-of-pocket costs related to your injury or illness. Make sure to keep track of any travel expenses to and from necessary medical appointments, including parking fees and public transportation costs.
Paperwork related to your claim
It’s important to have copies of your doctor’s reports, any witness statements, and other paperwork from the insurance company. Keeping a thorough record of everything related to your claim will be beneficial, especially if you have difficulty obtaining benefits.
Contact Our Firm to Learn More About Your Benefits
Our Winston-Salem workers’ compensation attorneys at Lewis & Keller know that the various types of benefits available after an accident are not always straightforward. For this reason, it’s in your best interest to speak with an attorney if you have any questions or concerns pertaining to your claim.
If you need assistance understanding your benefits or filing a workers’ comp claim, call our law firm at 336-851-1000, or fill out our free case review form below.