How long do I have to wait to get workers’ compensation benefits after I have been hurt and how much should I be getting per week?
You are entitled to medical benefits immediately. If you miss more than 5 days of work then you are also entitled to compensation while you are off work. You will generally be entitled to 2/3rds of your average weekly wage up to the state maximum for that year. The state maximum for an injury occurring in 2013 is $449.12. Figuring out your average weekly wage is not always an exact science but it should be fair to the worker. It includes wages, overtime, mileage, per diem’s, housing or any other form of compensation averaged over the previous year prior to the injury. If you worked there for less than one year than the average would be over the period that you actually worked.
The first check is due within 14 days of the first missed day, and the insurance carrier should not ever get more than 14 days behind. Sometimes a carrier will pay every week and then decide to go to every two weeks. That is within their right under the law so long as they are staying within 14 days of the last paid day. If they fail to pay on time, there are mechanisms in the workers’ compensation laws to get the case in front of a Judge relatively quickly to get the issue heard.
If you or a loved one has been hurt, you should contact an attorney to make sure you are being paid the right benefits.
Rogen K. Chhabra