Recovering from an illness or injury you got on the job can be incredibly frustrating and stressful. On top of coping with pain, doctor visits, and medical bills, chances are you have lost your ability to work. Naturally, you are wondering if workers’ compensation will cover your full salary or if you’ll be left struggling to cover your expenses.
How much you will get from worker’s comp depends on a variety of factors. One of these is the type of benefits you receive. For example, you may be entitled to:
- Temporary partial disability benefits
- Temporary total disability benefits
- Medical benefits
- Permanent partial disability benefits
- Permanent total disability benefits
- Death benefits
The amount of your payments will also depend on where you live. Each state has different guidelines for disability payments. In some states, you may receive two-thirds of your average weekly wage, while in others you may receive 80%.
Most states put some sort of cap on the amount of the benefits you can receive. There are also states where the amount of benefits will be determined based upon the type of illness or injury you’ve sustained.
Things to Avoid Doing on Workers’ Comp
Getting approved for workers’ comp isn’t easy. The last thing you want to do after jumping through all of those hoops is to risk losing your payments by making any of the following mistakes.
Give a Recorded Statement
You should never give a recorded statement to anyone regarding your condition. Without realizing it, you could be talking to a representative of an insurance company that is trying to trick you into committing an act of self-incrimination so they don’t have to pay.
Sign Anything From an Insurance Company
You should never sign any paper an insurance rep hands you without having your lawyer review it first. You may accidentally sign away your rights. Even if they are offering you a settlement and you’re eager to get your hands on the cash, chances are they are not offering you enough to cover the true value of your claim.
Discuss Your Case With Insurance Adjusters
There are only two situations in which it is okay to discuss anything about your case with representatives of the insurance company: if you haven’t received your check, and if you haven’t received your prescription or mileage reimbursement.
Work Under the Table
The point of getting workers’ comp is that you are unable to work. However, many people choose to defraud the system by working under the table while they collect benefits. Unless you’re partially disabled and your work has been approved, working means risking prison time, hefty fines, and even having to pay back your benefits.
What to Do if Your Claim Is Denied or Terminated
If your workers’ compensation claim is denied or your benefits have been terminated, you have rights under the law. You may want to consider contacting a personal injury claims lawyer who can explain your rights and act as your advocate.
Another option is to file an appeal. To file a formal appeal you will need to make sure you are filing within your state’s Social Security Administration’s timeline. You will need to contact the insurer to get a statement regarding why your benefits were denied or terminated. You can also request that they reconsider before you are forced to take the matter to an attorney.
Depending on where you live, there may be a review board that will oversee your appeal. You may also be able to appeal to the Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals or any other higher level of appeals board that is available in your state if your first appeal is denied.
If you believe you are entitled to workers’ comp benefits, even if you’re denied at first, don’t give up. Ask an experienced attorney to review your case. They may be able to give you information that can change your financial future.