Workers’ comp benefits include medical care for work-related injuries or illnesses. Depending on your situation, you may be too limited to work, then improve and reach a stage where you can return to your job with restrictions. Depending on available, suitable work and your employer’s flexibility, agree or refuse, or be unable to accommodate those restrictions. If that’s the case, it’s not a bad reflection on you.
How Do I Pay My Bills If I’m Too Injured to Work?
If you’re injured on the job and while in the course of your duties, unless there’s an exception in the law, you should qualify for workers’ comp benefits.
You should also collect temporary income benefits (TIBs) if your work-related injury or illness causes the loss of your wages for more than seven days. They’re 70% of the difference between the average weekly wage before your injury and the money you can earn (if any) after your injury. Your average weekly wage is the average amount you earned each week from your job before you were hurt.
TIBs end when:
- A healthcare professional decides no further healing or recovery is expected (known as the maximum medical improvement)
- You can earn the average weekly wage before your injury, or
- You’re at the end of your TIBs period (104 weeks after the eighth day of your work-related disability)
Although it’s less than what you made before, TIBs should help you pay your bills and support your family.
Who Pays for My Medical Treatment and Rehabilitation Services?
Your benefits include payment for treatment and rehabilitation like physical or occupational therapy for your work-related injury or illness. As you recover, your physician may feel you could return to work but be unable to do all your duties without risking further injury. This would be communicated to your employer.
Will My Employer Want Me Back If I Have Restrictions?
Generally, return to work plans are favored by employers and insurance companies. The employer would get work performed. You would earn some income, retain your skills, and partially get back into your routine. If all goes well and you don’t overdo it, this may help your recovery.
Your employer may change your job to fit your needs or assign you different tasks that match your limitations. Whatever they plan to do, your healthcare professional must agree it’s safe, or you’ll risk further injury.
If there’s no suitable work for you, you’ll continue to receive TIBs. Over time, your employer may change their decision as appropriate work becomes available. Your condition should also improve, and your restrictions might decrease, allowing you a partial return to work.
What Happens to My Benefits If I Can Return to Work With Restrictions?
If you’re getting TIBs, your weekly benefit check may be reduced or suspended, depending on how much you earn. These benefits should be restored if your doctor decides you should no longer work. Whether you’re working or not, your reasonable and necessary injury-related medical treatments should be paid.
Should I Hire a Schechter, Shaffer, & Harris, LLP Attorney If I’m Injured at Work?
Not getting legal help if you’re seriously injured at work would be a huge mistake. You need all the benefits you can get to receive the proper medical care and support yourself and your family financially.
When you need a Houston lawyer with years of experience with workers’ compensation claims, call Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P. at 832-230-2199. Contact our legal team today to get the benefits you deserve for your injuries.