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Workers Compensation Benefits
I’m Greg Coffey of Friedman Law Offices in Lincoln, Nebraska. Thanks for visiting our blog.
People with Workers’ Compensation injuries who call our office often wonder what types of benefits they might be eligible for. Workers’ Compensation is what the courts call a “creature of statute” which means the Workers’ Compensation court can only award those benefits specifically provided for under the Workers’ Compensation act. This means those benefits specifically described in the Act might be awarded but anything NOT specifically provided for cannot be awarded. Work comp benefits fall into 4 broad categories. The 1st type of benefit is medical expenses. Under most circumstances, an injured worker is entitled to have 100% of their medical expenses covered including mileage to and from covered care. There are some caveats: e.g. You have to follow the physician choice rules; the care has to be necessary to either relieve pain or “promote and hasten restoration to health and employment.” But, by and large, medical care gets covered.
The 2nd type of benefit is called temporary disability. If you miss time from work while recuperating from the injury, the employer or their work comp insurance carrier has to make up a percentage of the wages you’re missing out on. This includes making up a percentage of the difference between what you earned at the time you got hurt and what you’re making now if, e.g., your hours or pay rate are reduced while on light duty.
The 3rd type of benefit is called permanent disability. If you wind up with some sort of residual impairment or limitation after you’ve completed your recovery, you may be entitled to be compensated for the extent of the permanent injury. This is a substitute for pain and suffering, which is not covered by the Act and, therefore, can’t be awarded. And the 4th type of benefit is called vocational rehabilitation. If your injury prevents you from returning to the kind of work you used to do before you got hurt, your employer has a duty to help you get back to work. Voc rehab can be as simple as the employer identifying another job within the company that you can do OR it can include sending you to school to learn a new line of work. The employer would be responsible for paying disability benefits to you while you go through vocational rehab.
If you have any questions, call Friedman Law Offices at 800-876-1093. There is never a charge to find out if we can help you (find out if you have a case). Feel free to leave a comment here on our blog, and use the share button if you know someone who might benefit from this information. Thanks for logging in.