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Know The Steps: Where Are You On The Workers' Comp Ladder?

When you get injured at work, there are few benefits more valuable than that provided by the workers' comp coverage. There are several different benefits available, but what you get is connected to your medical condition. Exactly what you can expect depends on where you are on the ladder of benefits, so read on to learn more about what to expect.

Medical Care

This is one area that remains constant throughout your recovery period and can continue even if your injury is permanent. 100% of any medical care you receive that is directly related to your work-related injury or illness is covered and no out-of-pocket money should be needed. To get unquestioned coverage, be sure that your workers' comp doctor has ordered or approved all surgeries, medications, referrals to specialists, and other needs before you incur that expense.

Disability Pay

Since you may find yourself unable to work at your job, at least temporarily, you likely will also qualify for pay while you stay off from work. Disability pay amounts can vary, but often it's about 66.6% of your usual salary from before you were injured. This pay will come to you weekly and will be tax-free.

Maximum Medical Improvement

In a small number of cases, your injury does not heal or go away. Permanent injuries from work-related illnesses or accidents can result in different benefits, but first the insurance carrier will need more information about your condition. Sometimes you are ordered to attend a special medical exam called an independent medical exam where a different doctor evaluates the progress of your injury and makes a decision about your continued care. If your injury is ruled to be at a recovery standstill, you may be at maximum medical improvement (MMI). What this means for you is that have been ruled to have a permanent workplace injury.

Settlement Phase

The final phase of workers' comp applies to those that are ruled to be at MMI. You are now entitled to a bundle of benefits that include a lump sum offer and more. It should be emphasized that everything from here on is completely negotiable and you will need professional legal help to ensure that you get what you need and deserve. You may be looking at never working at your original job ever again so your consideration must stretch into the future. You are also probably entitled to rehabilitation services and future medical care, so speak to an attorney.

For more information, contact local professionals like those found at Prediletto, Halpin, Scharnikow & Nelson, P.S.