Workplace injuries can happen to anybody, in any industry. When they do, injured or sickened workers need to know what sort of replacement income they can rely on while they try to recover.
Knowing what to expect from your workers’ compensation benefits can help you plan ahead, and it may relieve a little of the stress around your situation. Here are the basics you need to know:
Weekly benefits start after you’re unable to work for 7 days
Your replacement wages are supposed to begin once you’ve been out of work for at least 7 days. This does not preclude taking sick leave during this time so that you don’t miss out on your entire pay, although you will eventually be reimbursed for this lost week if your injuries keep you off work for 21 straight work days.
Once benefits begin, you should begin receiving them within 21 days of your first day off work. However, it’s important to know these temporary total disability benefits will only be two-thirds of your average weekly wages, and never more than $725.00 per week.
These payments can continue for up to 400 weeks. However, there are other cash payments that you may also qualify for other forms of cash payments that can last a lifetime. Cash benefits can include:
- Temporary partial disability, which is given when your injuries require you to work fewer hours or on restricted duty for a while, affecting your pay
- Permanent partial disability, which is paid when you have an injury, including scars, that doesn’t entirely prevent you from working but is life-long
- Permanent total disability, which is paid when you have injuries that are expected to prevent you from working for the rest of your life.
If TTD income benefits are not started within 21 days of being disabled, then a 15% late penalty should be added on to all accrued benefits at the time they are eventually commenced. And the maximum weekly compensation rate of $725 is for all injuries that occurred AFTER July 1, 2022.
TPD benefits would be owed when the injured worker is earning less money each week in gross wages (before taxes) while on light-duty work restrictions. And the Average Weekly Wage used to determine an injured worker’s TTD benefit rate is based on their average gross wage for the 13 weeks prior to their date of injury.
The workers’ compensation system is supposed to be easy, but it has a lot of confusing rules and language. Fortunately, you don’t have to try to navigate the process on your own. Experienced legal guidance can help.