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Will Worker’s Comp Pay for Lost Wages?
Posted in Worksite Injury on June 16, 2023
Being injured on the job can be a scary and challenging experience. In these situations, one of your primary concerns is often the financial impact of the injury. How will you be able to support yourself and your family when you can’t work? Will workers’ compensation cover your lost wages?
In Washington, workers’ compensation insurance will pay for your medical expenses, vocational rehabilitation, and lost income as a result of the injury or illness. Lost wages come in the form of disability benefits, which can be either temporary or permanent. To wade through these waters, it is important to consult a Washington worksite injury lawyer.
Workers’ Comp Pays Lost Wages in the Form of Disability Benefits
Workers’ compensation is a crucial safety net for employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. In Washington, employers with at least one employee are usually required to carry workers’ comp insurance. There are some exceptions, such as domestic workers or volunteers.
By filing a workers’ compensation claim, you are entitled to:
- Reasonable and necessary medical expenses related to your work-related injury or illness
- Vocational rehabilitation if you need help getting another job following the injury or illness
- Temporary disability benefits, which pay for lost wages while you are recovering from the injury or illness
- Permanent disability benefits, which help replace lost income if your injury or illness results in long-term damage
Temporary Disability Benefits in Washington
Temporary disability benefits provide relief to workers who are unable to work at all following the injury or those who can work but need to take reduced hours or alternative job duties. There are two types of temporary disability benefits:
- Temporary Partial Disability (TPD): These benefits are paid to workers who can return to work but cannot earn as much as their pre-injury wages. TPD is equal to 80% of the difference between the present wages and pre-injury earnings, up to a maximum set by state law.
- Temporary Total Disability (TTD): These benefits are paid to workers who cannot return to work due to their injury or illness. TTD is equal to 60% to 75% of the worker’s average monthly gross income, up to a maximum set by state law.
Permanent Disability Benefits in Washington
Permanent disability benefits are awarded after a worker reaches maximum medical improvement (MMI), or the point where the worker has recovered from the injury or illness as much as possible. Like temporary disability benefits, permanent disability can fall into one of two categories:
- Permanent Partial Disability (PPD): These benefits are paid to workers who have some permanent limitations due to a work-related injury or illness. PPD awards are based on an annual schedule, which sets the amount based on impairment to certain parts of the body. The value of these benefits will depend on the severity of the impairment and the date of the injury.
- Permanent Total Disability (PTD): These benefits are awarded to workers who suffered paralysis, the total loss of eyesight, the complete loss of use of both arms or legs, or the complete loss of use of an arm and a leg. PPD benefits are also paid to people who are unable to perform any type of work as a result of their injuries or illnesses. In most cases, these benefits are equal to the TTD award.
If you suffered a work-related injury or illness, it is important to fight for the compensation that you deserve. To learn more about your legal options, contact a Washington workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible.