Workers’ compensation encompasses different types of payments and benefits to injured workers.
The type of compensation to which a worker is legally entitled from his or her employer depends on the nature of the illness or injury and whether or not that person can return to work.
You can decide what type of workers’ compensation to pursue by learning about the different benefits and payment options.
Medical-Only Workers’ Compensation
Medical-only workers’ compensation is compensation that pays for 100 percent of a worker’s employment-related illness or injury. In most states, these benefits are paid out after a three- to seven-day waiting period. The employer is obligated to pay for all of the worker’s medical costs including doctor’s office expenses, x-rays, lab work, and prescription medications.
These benefits are paid out with the understanding that the worker will return to the job after he or she is fully recovered. This type of benefit is paid out in most cases for short term or minor illnesses and injuries like a deep cut that needs suturing or a strained muscle that will heal on its own after a few days of rest.
Temporary Disability Workers Compensation
Like medical-only workers’ compensation, temporary disability also covers 100 percent of an injured worker’s medical costs. However, it also pays for the time that the injured worker misses work because of the illness or injury.
With this type of benefit, the employer acknowledges that the worker cannot return to work in the same or similar capacity as before the accident or illness. However, it is also understood that the worker will recover at some point and be able to return to the role he or she filled prior to falling ill or getting hurt.
During the time that the worker is at home recuperating, he or she will receive temporary disability workers compensation payments to make up for most or all of the lost income. Once those benefits expire, which is determined by the state’s workers compensation laws, the worker must then return to work and resume his or her role with the employer.
Permanent Disability Workers’ Compensation
Permanent disability workers’ compensation benefits pay a worker who is permanently disabled because of an on-the-job accident. Along with covering the worker’s employment-related medical expenses, these benefits also pay for the worker’s present and future lost income.
These benefits are paid out with the understanding that the worker cannot return to work at all because of the injury or illness he or she sustained on the job. These types of benefits are paid out in many cases after extensive court litigation or a settlement offer by the employer’s insurer. They account for one percent of the workers’ compensation cases filed and pursued each year in the U.S.
If you have been hurt while on the job, you may be entitled to one of these different types of workers’ compensation benefits. You can decide which one to pursue after consulting with and hiring a workers’ compensation attorney to represent you during your case.