A work injury has financial consequences that may leave you wondering what workers’ compensation benefits will cover. You can receive coverage for your medical expenses, but benefits for lost wages are a more complex situation.
The Division of Workers’ Compensation explains that you can receive payments if you cannot work or if you have a reduction in earnings due to your injury.
Type of disability
Workers’ compensation will qualify you for either partial or total disability. Partial disability means you have restrictions on the work you can do. Total means you cannot work at all. If the medical opinion is you will be able to return to work at some point, then you get a temporary rating.
Permanent benefits may be for permanent impairment, which is when you will have continued limitations due to the injury after you reach the maximum medical improvement stated by a medical professional. Permanent total benefits are those you receive when you have a complete disability that will not get better.
Amount of benefits
You will not receive your full pay or the full amount of wages you lose because workers’ compensation benefits will only pay two-thirds of your average pay. The average pay depends on your earnings prior to your injury. There is also a maximum benefit amount set by the state.
Timing of payments
You cannot receive lost wage payments until you miss seven full days of work. Your benefits begin on the eighth day, and you can expect your first check around 21 days after you first report your injury. If you cannot work for 21 days or more, you will receive payment for the first seven days.