Workers' compensation insurance is meant to benefit employees who get injured on the job. The benefits include wage replacement, medical bills, disability, and rehabilitation, among others. However, you may not receive all the benefits since there are issues that may reduce your final settlement. Here are some of the examples of these issues:
State Caps for Specific Benefits
Workers' compensation benefits are governed by state laws, and states usually put limits on specific benefits. For example, the weekly (wage replacement) benefits are usually calculated as 60% or 66% of the injured employee's pre-injury earnings. Therefore, an employee who was earning $1,000 will receive $600 if the 60% calculation is used.
With this reasoning, you expect to receive $1,200 if your average weekly earnings before your accident. However, this may not be the case because most states limit the maximum weekly benefit to $1,000 regardless of how much you were earning before your accident.
If you are injured and applying for workers' compensation benefits, then it's likely you will also be applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. However, you may not be given everything if you qualify for both benefits, and their combined total exceeds 80% of your pre-injury earnings.
In most states, it's your SSDI benefits that will be reduced. A few states, however, will reduce your workers' compensation benefits. In most states, however, the offsets only apply to some, but not all, forms of workers' compensation benefits.
Limit on Period of Collection
Even if you have qualified for workers' compensation benefits, you won't receive the periodic payments forever. States have limits on how long you can receive partial wage payments. For example, if you in New Mexico, you can receive the benefits for up to 700 weeks while the state of California's limit is a mere 204 weeks. Therefore, if two workers (one in New Mexico and another in California) sustain similar injuries, the one in New Mexico will still be receiving the partial wage payments long after their counterpart in California has stopped receiving them.
Considering all these things, it's clear that you should be extremely keen when dealing with workers' compensation issues. If you aren't careful, the limitations can seriously reduce your workers' compensation benefits. The good news is that there are ways of minimizing these effects, so they don't reduce your benefits too much. Talk to a workers compensation attorney to see what can be done in your case.Share