The most devastating effect of suffering an injury on the job is the loss of income that comes from not being able to work. In order to support themselves after a work-related injury, many people apply for workers’ compensation benefits. If you’re considering applying for workers’ comp, your most pressing question is probably how much your benefits will be.
There are several factors that can influence the amount of your workers’ comp benefits, which make it important that you learn the different ways your benefits will be calculated. Find out how much you may receive in workers’ comp benefits and why you may need an attorney to help you fight for your needed claim.
The main factor in how much you will receive in workers’ comp benefits is what kind of disability you have. In general, there are four disability categories in relation to workers’ comp. These categories are:
- Temporary total disability: You cannot do any work, but your disability will eventually heal.
- Temporary partial disability: You can perform non-intensive work duties until your disability heals.
- Permanent total disability: Your disability is permanent and you will never be able to perform meaningful work again.
- Permanent partial disability: Your disability is permanent, but you can work to some degree, although perhaps not at your old position.
If your condition is temporary, the timeframe where you can receive benefits is between 3 and 7 years. For permanent disabilities, there is almost never any time limitation, although your benefits may end when you reach the retirement age. This depends on the state you live in.
Your Weekly Workers’ Comp Benefits Amount
In Tennessee, your weekly benefit payments will be 66 ⅔% (or two-thirds) of how much you earned in an average week before your injury. Your average weekly wage (AWW) is calculated by adding together your earnings for a period of 52 weeks before your injury and then dividing it by that number of weeks. The benefit amount you can receive is limited to $1,000 a week.
If you are seeking partial disability payments, your weekly payment amount will be calculated against your current earning ability. For instance, if you made $2,000 a week before your injury and can now only earn $1,200, your payment would be two-thirds of that number, or $800.
It may also be possible for you to receive a one-time lump payment for certain conditions. These are based on your individual state’s payment guidelines and the extent of your disability. If you completely lose the use of your hand, for instance, and your state’s workers’ comp board deems that an injury worth $100,000, then you would receive that payment. On the other hand, if you only lost 25% of your hand’s functionality, you would only receive $25,000.
Additional Expense You Can Have Covered
On top of weekly payments, your workers’ comp benefits will also cover your medical expenses that were caused by your injury. However, sometimes your insurance company may claim that your injury isn’t healing in a reasonable timeframe or that your treatment isn’t necessary. If this happens to you, then you may need to hire an attorney.
If you’re disability is permanent, but you still have the ability to work, you may be able to receive vocational rehabilitation with no out of pocket expense. Vocational rehab will train you to perform a new job that accommodate your ability level so that you don’t have to receive continual workers’ comp payments.
Get Legal Help After a Denied Claim
Having your claim denied and not being able to receive your workers’ comp benefits can be very stressful, which is why you need to improve your chances of success by working with an attorney from the McMahan Law Firm.
The McMahan Law Firm Insiders have the knowledge necessary to navigate the complex workers’ comp system, and we can help you file your claim or dispute a denial. Contact us to request an appointment.