Workers Compensation Benefits: Are You Receiving What You’re Entitled To?
Know the Workers Compensation Benefits you are Entitled to.
A few years ago, I met with a gentleman who had been injured on the job several years prior to his free consultation. During our meeting it became clear to me that the man had not received all the workers compensation benefits he was entitled to. I asked him whether he had been reimbursed for travel to and from his doctors’ appointments. At that point he looked at me with a blank stare, not knowing what I was referring to. As it turned out he had been treating with physicians that were more than 20 miles round trip from his home and was entitled to reimbursement for his travel. He hired us, and we went back through his medical records to determine when and where he was treated. We submitted the 25T Travel Reimbursement Forms and he was reimbursed for over $1,000.00 in mileage reimbursement alone. We continued to monitor his claim to ensure that he was receiving everything he was entitled to and ultimately settled the claim.
Workers Compensation Benefits: Medical Treatment
When you are injured on the job, there are certain benefits for which the employer/insurer must automatically provide. Aside from travel reimbursement, an insurer must provide medical treatment for any work-related injuries. An insurer must provide medical treatment that will provide a cure and/or give relief and lesson the period of your disability. In other words, provide the treatment necessary to get better and/or feel better. This can be complicated when there are several doctors making different recommendations, or the insurance company disagrees with the recommended treatment. There are certain rules that the insurance company must follow to ensure that they provide the correct treatment and oftentimes because they are the ones “calling the shots”, those rules are not followed. Which is why it is important to consult with an attorney to ensure that those medical benefits, which you are entitled to, are provided.
Workers Compensation Benefits: Lost Wages
Another benefit you are entitled to is compensation for time out of work. If you are injured on the job and your doctors says you cannot work, or if your doctor assigned work restrictions and your employer does not have work within those restrictions, you are entitled to 66.66% of your average weekly wage. Also known as temporary total benefits or TTD.
Workers Compensation Benefits: Calculating TTD (Temporary Total Benefits)
Your average weekly wage is typically calculated based upon your wages during the year prior to your injury. If you worked for your employer for less than a year, there are other manners to determine your average weekly wage. Typically, your average weekly wage includes overtime, lodging and other monetary benefits you were paid during the year prior to the injury.
It is important to make sure your average week is correct since your workers compensation benefits (or TTD) are contingent on your average weekly wage. I have had clients who have been paid their TTD benefits based upon at a 40-hour week when in fact they had consistently worked overtime during the year prior to their injury. Once we requested the clients’ wage information showing the higher wages due to overtime work, we were able to establish that their TTD benefit rate (66.66% percent of their average weekly wage) was much higher than what they were being paid. Upon establishing the correct average weekly wage, the clients were paid for the back TTD benefits they were owed, and their correct TTD benefit rate was paid for all future temporary total benefits they were entitled to.
Workers Compensation Attorney: How a consult can help
I have touched upon the basic workers compensation benefits, but there are many other benefits for which, depending on the facts of the claim, an injured worker is entitled to. Unfortunately, the workers compensation insurer is not typically forthcoming with this information. That is why I can’t stress enough how important it is to seek a consult with a workers compensation attorney. Mullen Law, P.A. offers free consultations and we typically do not take a fee unless there is a settlement or an award by the Industrial Commission. Our fee is typically 25% of a settlement or award.
ARE YOU RECEIVING YOUR MAXIMUM BENEFIT?
Attorney Eileen Mullen can meet with you to learn about your case and discover if you are entitled to greater workers compensation benefits.