Depending on which state you live in, some wages you could receive under workers’ compensation laws include your traditional wages or salary, as well as commissions, bonuses, holiday pay, and extra overtime pay. The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) puts laws in place requiring employers to provide workers’ compensation benefits for injured employees. A workers’ compensation attorney could help to ensure your claim includes recovery of all types of wages.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
The U.S. Department of Labor defines workers’ compensation as a program that provides benefits to certain workers who experience work-related injuries or occupational diseases.
The law requires many employers across the United States to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This provides employees with benefits when they get hurt or develop an illness on the job and file a workers’ compensation claim against their employer. A workers’ compensation attorney can help you file a claim and take the appropriate steps to get the necessary benefits.
Wages Included Under Workers’ Compensation Laws
While each state has its own workers’ compensation laws, some wages are included in the “payroll” in each state. If the money you receive from work gets included in payroll, you could typically recover that compensation through workers’ compensation benefits if your claim gets approved.
Hourly Wages or Salaries
You could receive a portion of the hourly wages or yearly salary you typically receive through workers’ compensation benefits. Generally, the amount you would receive from workers’ compensation is around 60% or 2/3 of your normal weekly pay.
If you earn commissions, you could still get benefits through workers’ compensation. An attorney can determine how much compensation to seek based on your recent pay stubs and how much you regularly earn.
If you usually get a yearly bonus, you could seek that monetary compensation while receiving workers’ compensation benefits. Bonuses could also include the financial value of the stock you could receive as a bonus.
You could include the paid time off you didn’t take as a part of the compensation you pursue through a workers’ compensation plan. For example, paid time off could include pay for holidays, vacation, and sick leave.
Extra Pay For Overtime
If you typically receive extra pay for working overtime, you can include the value of those earnings in your workers’ compensation claim as well. An attorney can review your recent pay stubs and see how much overtime you typically work. They can then include that in your claim to seek compensation for that loss while you miss work to recover from your injuries.
Wages Not Included Under Workers’ Compensation Laws
Each state also has exclusions of wages that are not included under workers’ compensation laws. Examples include:
- Tips or gratuities
- Payments to an insurance plan by your employer
- Severance payments
- Employee discounts
- Expense reimbursements
- Allowances for a work uniform
Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company most likely will not cover these costs when you receive benefits.
Other Workers’ Compensation Benefits You Could Receive
In addition to the earnings you’ve lost while out of work, there are other workers’ compensation benefits you could receive. They include:
- Medical costs: Workers’ compensation benefits usually pay 100% of the medical costs associated with your work-related injury. Medical costs you could accrue include emergency medical care, rehabilitative treatments, surgeries, and doctor’s visits.
- Ongoing care costs: These costs could also be covered if your injuries require ongoing care, such as future doctor’s visits or an in-home nurse.
- Funeral costs: In the devastating event that your loved one passes away from the injuries they sustained at work, you could receive benefits for their funeral costs through workers’ compensation benefits.
A workers’ compensation attorney can handle all of the matters regarding your claim so you can focus on healing from your injuries or from the death of a loved one.
How to Receive Lost Wages and Other Workers’ Compensation Benefits
You must file an official workers’ compensation claim with your employer to receive any workers’ compensation benefits. To file a claim, you must include the following:
- Evidence that you sustained the injury. The evidence proving you suffered an injury could include medical documentation and diagnostic imaging.
- Documentation proving you had to pay medical costs. Evidence could include medical bills or receipts of out-of-pocket costs you had to pay for medical care.
- Proof of your work history. Be sure to include any documentation linking your injuries to your job-related tasks.
Once they review your claim, you will receive approval or denial. If your claim gets denied, you can file an appeal. If it is approved, you can expect to start receiving workers’ compensation benefits soon.
A workers’ compensation attorney can ensure your claim has the documentation you need to have a better chance at an approved claim. If your initial claim gets denied, they can help you take steps to file an appeal.
An Attorney Can Help You Seek Your Lost Wages Under Workers’ Compensation
Not only can a workers’ compensation attorney help you pursue lost wages, but they can also help you seek other benefits. You shouldn’t have to pay for the medical bills you received because of a job-related injury. Let the attorneys at KJT Law Group guide you through the claims process. Our team has filed many workers’ compensation claims and understands the documentation and evidence you must provide. Contact us today for a free consultation by calling (818) 507-8525. During the consultation, a legal team member can listen to your story and hear about how you sustained your injuries. They can explain your legal options and give you information on how our law firm can help you. By the end of the consultation, we’re confident you’ll want to move forward with our team.