At the law firm of Petro Cohen, P.C., we often get questions about what benefits are available through workers’ compensation. The following will help answer questions about workers’ comp coverage.
The medical benefits of workers’ compensation are intended to cover doctor visits, medication, and surgeries related to identifying and treating your injury or illness. Should you need special therapy or equipment to deal with your injury, workers’ comp will cover these costs as well.
Disability benefits are meant to compensate you for wages while your injury or illness makes it impossible for you to work.
- Temporary Disability Benefits – You are entitled to up to 400 weeks of tax-free temporary disability benefits, based on 70% of your wage for any medical condition that is either caused or worsened by your employment.
- Permanency Benefits – There are additional workers’ compensation benefits known as “permanency benefits”, which are awarded by a Judge of Compensation based upon medical evidence supporting a measurable loss of physical function. Most work related surgeries, fractures, dislocations, tears, disc bulges, protrusions, and herniations qualify. These benefits can be pursued up to two years from the last date of medical treatment, even if the person has not pursued workers’ compensation benefits or even if the person no longer works for the employer where the original accident occurred.
- Total Disability Benefits – When your work injury permanently limits the kinds of work you can do or your ability to earn a living, you would receive total disability benefits.
If your injury or illness falls into one of these categories, your disability benefits will be based upon the amount you were earning prior to your injury—typically, two-thirds of your regular wages. You will not have to pay income tax on the benefits you collect.