The goal of the workers’ compensation claim is to make sure that if you are injured at work, regardless of fault, you receive appropriate medical care, lost wages, retraining and rehabilitation if needed to re-enter the workplace or benefits for your family if you are killed on the job.
Wage loss benefits are based upon a percentage of your average weekly wage. You can compute this amount by taking the highest 39 weeks of the 52 weeks preceding your work injury. Many disputes over workers’ compensation occur because your employer or its insurance company are paying weekly benefits at the wrong rate.
Your employer or its workers’ compensation insurance carrier will also be responsible for paying for all reasonable and necessary medical treatments for your work injury. This holds true even if your treatment continues after you have returned to work. Medical treatment can include attendant care, dental care, artificial limbs, eyeglasses, hearing aids, wheelchairs and other appliances necessary to cure or relieve the effects of your work injury. Medical treatment is unlimited and can be paid for life.
If you have been injured at work, or if you suffer from an occupational disease, you have a clear claim for workers’ compensation benefits. Notice should be given to your employer as soon as possible. Once you make a claim for benefits, your employer must investigate and make a decision within 30 days.