There are four types of worker’s compensation benefits:
- medical treatment,
- disability benefits,
- vocational rehabilitation, and
- in the worst-case scenario, death and funeral services.
A worker’s compensation plan provides these benefits to you and your coworkers. They buy these worker’s compensation plans from insurance companies. Louisiana state law requires most employers to have worker’s compensation insurance.
The types of worker’s compensation plans insurers offer do not generally vary; these four types of benefits are standard.
The process of applying for worker’s compensation and receiving your benefits can be complex. The worker’s compensation experts at Gordon & Gordon can evaluate your case and advise you as to which benefits you qualify for. In this post, Gordon & Gordon explain the different types of worker’s compensation benefits, and who qualify for each.
Types of Worker’s Compensation: Medical Treatment
This is the type of worker’s compensation employees use most. A worker’s compensation claim for medical treatment will pay medical expenses for injuries and illnesses caused by your work. These benefits can help pay for:
- Doctor’s appointments
- Hospital and emergency room visits
- Therapy and rehabilitation
- Recovery equipment
To recover from more serious injuries or illnesses, you may need ongoing care. Worker’s compensation will cover many of these expenses. But worker’s compensation will not cover some forms of alternative treatment, such as:
- Naturopathic treatment
- Homeopathic medicine
Thus, if you fall at work and injure your back, worker’s compensation will pay your doctor’s bills. Worker’s compensation will also pay for any equipment you need to help you recover, such as crutches or a brace. It will pay for your pain medication, as well as any physical therapy you need.
But if you want to treat your injury with acupuncture, you may be paying out of pocket.
Worker’s compensation doesn’t just pay for the first injury you sustain.
Say that you trip and fall at work and twist your ankle, and later experience back pain. If your doctor tells you that your back pain is a result of your twisted ankle, your employer’s compensation plan will pay for your back treatment. This is because the back pain is a result of, and thus an extension of, the original injury.
Types of Worker’s Compensation: Disability
Sometimes work-related injuries aren’t temporary. Work-related injuries can leave an employee completely disabled, partially disabled, or temporarily disabled.
Insurance companies will classify the types of worker’s compensation benefits based on the amount of work you can perform. Temporary disabilities prevent an individual from working full-time, or from working at all, for a period of time. Permanent disabilities prevent an individual from working in the same capacity for the rest of their lives or prevent them from working again at all.
Worker’s compensation benefits for disability usually fall into one of four categories:
Temporary Total Disability
This type of worker’s compensation claim means that your injury disqualifies you from working for a certain period of time. But in this case, you will eventually return to work at full capacity.
Temporary Partial Disability
In some cases, your injury may prevent you from working at full capacity, but you can manage a little work. Your doctor may recommend three or four hours a day, or even just three or four hours a week.
For this type of worker’s compensation, you are still receiving a paycheck for the hours you can work. Thus, if you can only work half days with your injury, you will receive partial disability for the hours you cannot work.
Permanent Total Disability
This is the worst-case disability scenario for an employer and an injured employee. Permanent total disability is when you can no longer work due to your injuries. It applies to cases where the injuries are so severe you may never be able to work again.
This can include loss of the use of limbs or the loss of cognitive function.
Permanent Partial Disability
These benefits apply to cases where you can eventually return to work, but not in your former role. For instance, if you are a manual laborer, your doctor may prohibit you from lifting heavy objects ever again.
Worker’s compensation can help disabled workers recover lost wages if they need to take time off. Worker’s comp can also provide disability benefits for life in the case of a permanent disability.
Worker’s Compensation Plan Can Include Rehabilitation
Worker’s comp covers ongoing care for employees who suffer a work-related injury.
This might include physical therapy, or vocational rehabilitation to help them learn new skills to take on a new role. In case of permanent partial disability where you cannot return to your former role, worker’s comp can pay for new training and certifications.
Some types of worker’s compensation programs will provide a vocational counselor to find new roles for you with your employer. While you are retraining, you will still be eligible to receive benefits for lost wages.
The method for receiving these benefits will differ depending on your employer and your employer’s worker’s compensation plan. If you believe you are eligible, you should speak to your employer, as well as to an experienced attorney.
Worker’s Compensation Plan Can Include Death and Funeral Services
Permanent total disability may be the worst-case scenario as far as disability goes, but it is not the worst work-related injury has to offer. There are tragic cases where a work-related injury results in death.
In this unfortunate case, there are types of worker’s compensation that will provide benefits to the family of the deceased person. These benefits can help pay for funeral services and lost income.
Most insurance companies have limits for these expenses and will deny expenses they deem extravagant or unnecessary. If an insurance company denies worker’s compensation benefits to a grieving family, it’s time for a worker’s compensation attorney.
In most cases, workers’ compensation benefits will go to immediate family members or any of the deceased’s dependents. This includes:
- Elderly parents
Children over 18 may not receive any benefits. But there are exceptions for children with disabilities.
Contact Gordon & Gordon For More Information About Types of Worker’s Compensation
The attorneys at Gordon & Gordon have a combined 30 years of legal experience in worker’s compensation cases.
If you or a loved one need to know more about different types of worker’s compensation, give us a call 24/7 at 318.716.HELP. You can also send us a message directly to start your consultation process.