Another question that we get asked frequently is: What benefits am I entitled to on workers compensation?
Generally speaking you are entitled to three workers compensation benefits.
1) When you lose your salary from a work accident and you are unable to work due to a doctor’s recommendation you are entitled to what is called temporary total disability. This benefit is started after the third day of your loss of work and if you lose more than 14 days of work then Worker’s Compensation will go back and pay you for those first three days.
But as long as you have a work note saying you’re unable to work or your work restrictions that your work cannot accommodate, workers compensation should pay you that temporary total disability which is not paid at 100% of the wages that you were earning previously, at the speed at the different rate which we would discuss in another question.
2) The second benefit that you are entitled to is that workers compensation should pay for your medical treatments. So this is different than in for example a car accident case where you might get those damages separately or as part of your final settlement. Worker’s Compensation actually forces the Worker’s Compensation insurance company to pay for that medical treatment directly; which means that you should not be getting those bills and then this should deal directly with the treatment providers.
Now they pay those treatment providers at a discounted rate so what is also important is that your treatment providers don’t send you a bill for what’s left over, it is actually illegal under workers compensation insurance and that is called balance billing and treatment providers are not allowed to do that so the whole issue with the treatment that you receive is between the insurance company and the treatment provider and hopefully you should be out of the loop because that is one of the more complicated aspects of Worker’s Compensation.
3) The third benefit that you are entitled to is what happens when you are all done treating and that can be a couple of different types of benefits but the most common one is what’s called permanent partial disability which generally speaking means: what is your condition? What is a change in your condition in your body parts after you are all done treating?
And Worker’s Compensation is designed to compensate you for that degree of change that has occurred in your body now that you have been injured as a result of this job.
Now that permanent partial disability is directly tied to the wages that you were earning before the accident and the body part that you injured which are two things that we cannot change in Worker’s Compensation and both of those things have value that’s already been preset.
What we can change in Worker’s Compensation as far as the case goes, is fighting for the correct percentage of disability that you should be entitled to. So it’s definitely worthwhile speaking with an attorney so that you understand what your case might be worth even if you eventually decide to pursue benefits on your own; it is that something we can try to help you with as far as figuring out the body of your case.
So thank you for watching this again my name is Carolina Schottland with Zanck, Coen, Wright and Saladin and if you would like to contact me directly the office phone number is 815-459-8800. Also feel free to email me. I am excellent by email and hope to respond to all questions within a timely manner. So my email address is [email protected]. I have been an attorney for over 12 years and really enjoy practicing workers compensation law and really look forward to helping out with your case.