When you file for workers’ compensation, you are usually asking for Temporary Total Disability (TTD) payments that keep you afloat while unable to work. There are also many other ways of receiving an income which might ease the burden. However, not all of it is available or even a good idea to engage in. A dependable workplace injury attorney could lay out the pros and cons of receiving supplemental compensation in an Oak Lawn workers’ compensation case.
Many people are blindsided when they learn that an employer does not have to pay fringe benefits to employees who are injured. Critically, this means that an employer does not have to continue health insurance coverage while the worker is off the job. An employee is forced to either lose health insurance or pay the premiums out-of-pocket. The ability to refuse to pay benefits is a major weakness in workers’ compensation law which can only be changed with a new state law.
Fortunately, many unions and even some employers will continue to make payments for fringe benefits for the injured worker but this is not required by the Workers’ Compensation Act. Many people in Oak Lawn do not take this supplemental compensation into consideration when making a workman’s comp claim.
Social Security Disability is a federal program which provides money to those who are unable to work due to having disabilities. There are numerous disabilities that qualify, but many physical injuries from work accidents can qualify someone for this program. If a worker expects to be away from work for more than twelve months, they should consider applying for this disability pay. The process of acquiring disability can be long and confusing, unfortunately. Also, being accepted for disability can affect someone’s TTD payments as well as their final settlement. They should consult with a lawyer before applying for disability or settling a case in order to maximize the benefits for both claims.
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires employers (with more than 50 workers) to allow a worker to return to their prior position after up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave. Having a worker’s compensation case does not guarantee that the employer will bring them back. If the worker applies for FMLA, their employer is required to bring them back onboard.
Some employers provide Short Term Disability (STD) which provides about 60 to 75 percent of income while the person is off for a qualifying condition. Most work injuries qualify under STD, which usually lasts about 60 to 90 days. If a worker is still unable to work beyond the STD period, then Long Term Disability (LTD) becomes relevant. LTD usually pays about 50 to 65 percent of income. Injured workers should always apply for both STD and LTD.
The worker’s compensation disability is the main source of income in these cases, but if the insurance company pauses or ends it, then the STD or LTD will apply. This can allow them the ability to continue to fight their case. A person should consult with a lawyer so they are not the insurance company does not try to trick them out of certain payments.
Typically, lawyers do not recommend a worker apply for unemployment while they are injured. Unemployment seems like a quick and easy way to get supplemental payments while a local workers’ comp case is being negotiated. However, by applying for unemployment, the recipient declares to the State that they are physically capable of working. The insurance company will use the application for unemployment to their advantage and argue that they do not have to pay TTD anymore. If the worker has been approved to return to work and their position is no longer available or the company no longer exists, they could apply for unemployment in that case.
It is unwise to apply for every compensating program when you are off work due to an injury. Your best bet is to talk with a legal professional to learn how these programs interact with each other. Schedule a consultation to discuss the possibilities in supplemental compensation in Oak Lawn workers’ comp cases.