Those hurt at work are likely entitled to be paid benefits from their employer's workers' compensation insurer. While many work-related accidents are minor enough that the workers miss very little work, some are not that fortunate. Read to find out what might happen when workers are saddled with a permanent injury and need all the services they can find.
Permanent Disability Benefits from Workers' Compensation
Workers who are deemed disabled and unable to return to their jobs may be eligible for a lump-sum settlement. That means the workers' comp insurer will offer the workers a payment based on their previous salary that is supposed to cover them until they begin collecting retirement pay. Settlements are based on salary but also on the workers' age, level of disability, education, and more. The most important two things hurt workers need to know about workers' comp settlements are:
- Settlements can either be paid all at once (lump-sum) or structured, which provides the workers with regular payments for a set period.
- The amount you end up getting is not set in stone. It's entirely negotiable and workers don't have to accept the first offer by the insurer. The best way to make sure that you are receiving the most you can as a result of your accident is to get the help of a worker's comp lawyer when it comes time to negotiate with the insurer for what you deserve.
Working With Other Programs
Disabled workers are usually eligible for not only workers' comp settlements but other benefits as well. Depending on your plan and location, you might also be eligible for vocational counseling, mental health counseling, training for alternative employment, job search help, and much more. Be sure you know what you can take advantage of before you make the settlement decision.
One of the most valuable programs for disabled workers is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). However, this program may be challenging to deal with due to long wait times and complex rules. Another issue is so-called double-dipping where your SSDI payments are reduced (known as an offset) because of workers' comp structured payments. Don't wait till it's too late before addressing this issue with a worker's comp lawyer because the way your settlement is set up could affect the ultimate total value of your compensation from both programs. You can participate in both workers' compensation and SSDI if you plan things out in advance. Speak to a workers' compensation lawyer to learn more.