Workers Compensation Benefits are paid if a worker is injured on the job. In today’s society, “on the job” can mean any activity that is job-related. The accident need not occur on the employer’s premises, but can also include injuries while traveling or at a company social function. It is important to make certain that the accident is reported to your employer and that your employer provides workers’ compensation benefits.
Many workers and their families are told by the employers to apply for group insurance benefits, when you really should be covered by workers’ compensation. Group benefits, which are also called “sickness” or “accident” benefits, are disability benefits. But if the injury is work related, you should apply for workers’ compensation benefits.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits are superior to group benefits because:
- Workers’ Compensation Benefits are not subject to income tax;
- Depending on the state law, the disability benefits under the workers’ compensation can be paid for a much longer time than group disability benefits;
- Workers’ Compensation Benefits are typically paid in a higher amount than group disability benefits. And, if you are receiving workers’ compensation benefits, and you return to work at a lower rate of pay due to your injury, in many states you are entitled to weekly compensation benefits equal to 2/3 of your pay. Group benefits do not provide for such partial benefits.
- Workers’ Compensation Benefits, in some states, pay all of the medical expenses with no limitation. Medical payments under BC/BS, HMO or similar coverage, are limited. This means that under group benefits coverage, you have to pay those medical expenses, which are not covered by the health care insurer.
- If you are injured on the job and are not awarded Workers’ Compensation, you need to contact a lawyer immediately and file for Workers’ Compensation.
How long can you receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Typically, the Workers’ Compensation law requires that your employer’s insurance carrier pay for all reasonable and necessary medical treatment that is related to the work injury. You also are typically entitled to receive a percentage of your wages as set forth
under the state law.
Can you receive Workers’ Compensation as well as other insurance coverage for your injuries?
Generally, your employer is only responsible for Workers’ Compensation Benefits. However, if unsafe products or dangerous working conditions contribute to your accident, an attorney can determine whether there is additional insurance coverage available to compensate you for the injuries.
Can you receive both Workers’ Compensation and Social Security?
If you are on Workers’ Compensation, Social Security Disability payments will be reduced. It does not matter if you live with your parents, a spouse, children or by yourself, you can still collect the full amount of Social Security Disability. If the injury is so significant that a disabled person is unable to manage money, the Social Security Administration can designate a “representative payee” who is appointed by Social Security to assist.