Wage loss benefits are the checks you receive from the workers compensation carrier as a result of being placed on a no work status by your authorized treating physician. Another point at which you are eligible for wage loss benefits is if your authorized treating physician determines that you should avoid certain physical activities and your employer cannot accommodate your restrictions.
The maximum amount of time you are eligible to receive wage loss benefits as a result of being on a no work status, or as a result of having restrictions your employer cannot accommodate, is 104 weeks. Being placed on a no work status entitles you to what are called Temporary Total Disability Benefits (TTD). Being given work restrictions without your employer’s ability to accommodate your restrictions entitles you to Temporary Partial Disability Benefits (TPD). After 104 weeks, you may be eligible for Permanent Total Disability Benefits (PTD) if you’re not capable of performing any type of work, not even sedentary duty, and there is no job available for you within a 50 mile radius.
Most people do not receive wage loss benefits for a total of 104 weeks. The reason is that most individuals undergo treatment for their work related injury or injuries and eventually reach a point of maximum medical improvement (MMI). When you reach MMI, your eligibility for wage loss benefits stops. If your physician determines you have a permanent impairment rating, you can be eligible for permanent impairment benefits. This is another type of monetary benefit available to those suffering from work related injuries.
Though the above referenced wage loss benefits are available to those injured on the job, there are a number of ways in which the workers compensation insurance company can suspend or stop making payments to you. To determine whether you are being paid the correct amount in wage loss benefits, if your wage loss benefits have stopped, or if you have any other question concerning you accident, consultations with our office are free. The main ways in which someone loses their eligibility for wage loss benefits are listed below. Given our experience in handling workers’ compensation claims, we can determine whether an insurance carrier’s decision to stop making payments to you is justified. If not, we can discuss the way such issues are resolved. In certain cases, we are able to recover an additional 20% penalty on the amount owed to injured employee in lost wage benefits.
The top 7 ways to lose your eligibility for wage loss benefits are:
- Refusal of suitable employment. If your employer offers an accommodating position and you refuse to return to work, the workers compensation insurance carrier will stop making wage loss payments to you.
- If you are terminated from your job for engaging in misconduct sufficient to justify being terminated for cause.
- You voluntarily limit your income.
- You reach a point of Maximum Medical Improvement.
- You fail to return your earning reports (DWC-19 forms).
- You are medically non – compliant in failing to attend your scheduled doctor or physical therapy appointments.
- You are released from your authorized physician with no restrictions.
As explained, there are more than the 7 ways listed above available to a worker’s compensation carrier to try and use in attempting to justify stopping your wage loss benefits. We can discuss any aspect of your workers compensation claim with you; including medical treatment, the rights you have to certain benefits, and whether what is occurring in your case is in accordance with the applicable law. Consultations with the Dolman Law Group are free; please call (727) 853-6275.
Dolman Law Group
5435 Main Street
New Port Richey, FL 34652