What Can You Expect Workers' Compensation to Pay?
"The social purpose of workers' compensation legislation is to ensure that employees are not reduced to poverty because of an occupational or traumatic injury." — Attorneys and Authors Thomas Domer and Charles Domer, from their book Wisconsin Workers' Compensation Law
When an employee suffers a work-injury, a variety of compensation benefits may be available, depending on the employee's missed work time, resulting disability, and possible diminution in earnings or earning capacity. Click here for a flowchart outlining worker's compensation benefits.
Worker's Compensation Benefits Overview
An injured worker may be eligible for the following benefits under Wisconsin's worker's compensation system:
- Wage loss benefits / temporary disability: While a worker is healing from an injury, Wisconsin law provides temporary total disability (TTD) benefits, at 2/3 of the average weekly wage, or temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits. Temporary benefits end when a worker reaches a healing plateau.
- Permanent disability benefits: if you have permanent effects from a work injury, you are paid based on factors and a percentage of disability assigned by your doctor.
- Loss of earning capacity: If you cannot return to your job due to permanent restrictions, you can pursue a loss of earning capacity claim, which is based on a vocational expert's opinion of your loss access to wages and to the job market due to permanent restrictions.
- Vocational retraining: If your doctor's restrictions bar your return to work, you can get the insurance company to pay you while you go back to school and get retrained into a new profession.
- Medical expenses: All medical bills incurred because of your injury are part of your worker's compensation claim (whether paid by your health insurance company, out of your own pocket, or outstanding bills).
- Permanent total disability: Lifetime benefits occur where there is no reasonably stable work you can do because of your permanent restrictions.
- Disfigurement: Benefits for permanent scars, burns, or limps.
- Death Benefits: Benefits are available for the injured worker's dependents.
- Penalty Claims: If your employer does something unsafe, if the insurance company unreasonably delays payment, or if you are unlawfully terminated, you may have a claim for an additional penalty.
Make sure you get everything owed to you under the Wisconsin workers' compensation law and that your medical bills are being covered. If you've filed a claim and waited more than two weeks without a response, it is especially important to call a lawyer experienced in workers' compensation because your claim may be denied.
Contact Us Today
Our office is in Milwaukee, and we represent injured workers throughout Wisconsin. Consultation is free. If we take your case, there is no fee unless we get you benefits. Call Domer Law at 888-353-8384 or contact us online.
In essence, workers' compensation pays 2/3 of your average weekly wage. However, it is not always a straightforward calculation. All too frequently, we see either the employer or insurance company underestimate this average weekly wage or fail to factor in overtime, resulting in more lost wages for you.