Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits
There are a number of types of benefits to which you might be entitled if you are injured at work. They include:
- Lost Wages
- Medical Bills
- Amputation or Loss of Use
- Death Benefits for Loved Ones
Lost wages are a percentage of the wages you would have earned had you not been injured. You must have actually been out of work due to the work-related injury to get lost wage benefits. Under most circumstances, your employer’s insurance company will determine your wages based on the prior year and then provide you with two thirds of those wages. Your payments will come to you with the same frequency as your wages before you were injured. In other words, if you were paid every two weeks before you were hurt at work, you will continue to be paid every two weeks as long as you are out of work or until something halts your payments. It is actually quite common for the insurance company to make errors in its calculation of your wages.
Your employer must pay for reasonable surgical and medical services that are related to your work injury or illness. When you are first injured, your employer is required to inform you of your rights as to medical care, and provide you with a list of at least six medical providers. You are then required to treat with one of those six providers for the first 90 days. If the employer does not provide you with a list, you may treat with anyone you like. You may also treat with anyone you like after 90 days are up. Your employer is not allowed to make you see a certain one of the six doctors on the list. Nor may your employer or its insurance company direct your medical care.
Amputation or Loss of Use
If you lose a body part or use of a body part due to a work injury, you may be eligible for specific loss benefits. These benefits provide a specific amount of money due to the part of body that was amputated or is no longer usable. This includes loss of a limb, vision in one or both eyes or hearing in one or both ears. Unlike with other wage loss benefits, you do not actually need to stop working to receive specific loss compensation. However, you cannot claim both specific loss and general loss for the same injury. It is important to find out from a lawyer which kind of benefit is appropriate under your situation.
If you suffer a scar or disfigurement of your head, face or neck, you are entitled to a special kind of workers’ compensation. This benefit is based on your wages and is for up to 275 weeks. It is up to the workers’ compensation judge to decide how serious your scar is, and therefore how many weeks of compensation you should receive. As a result, though it might seem easy to settle a claim involving a facial or other scar, it is important that you have a lawyer to help you to maximize your benefits.
If a loved one dies due to a work-related injury or disease, certain benefits may be provided to family members. Funeral expenses up to $3,000 should be provided. Those entitled to weekly benefits might include the spouse and children under 18. Other relatives might be eligible to receive benefits if there is no spouse or children. The amount of benefits and how long they will last vary based on numerous circumstances such as relationship, age and dependency upon the person who died.
Get Help with your Pennsylvania or New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Claim
In every case, regardless of the kind of benefit to which you might be entitled, it is important to get the help of an expert* in Pennsylvania workers’ compensation law to assist you. The insurance company will want to pay out the minimum possible, so you need a lawyer on your side who will seek the maximum on your behalf. Contact Lowenthal & Abrams’ workers’ compensation lawyers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey at 888-566-5267, for a free consultation.