The difference between workers’ compensation and disability benefits is that workers’ compensation is generally reserved for workers who got injured on the job or ill because of working conditions. Alternatively, you may be able to collect disability insurance benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) if you are disabled and unable to work for any reason.
A lawyer can help you determine whether you are eligible for workers’ compensation or disability benefits, and can help you pursue these benefits through the appropriate means.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance May Help After a Work Injury
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), $48,343,292 net worth of workers’ compensation insurance claims were written in 2019 in the United States. These claims helped cover medical expenses and lost wages for employees who had to miss work due to a work-related injury or illness.
There are some exemptions for what workers’ compensation may cover. You may speak to a law firm representative about whether you might be covered for a work-related injury. According to the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC), you may generally be covered for an on-the-job injury if:
- You are a part-time, full-time, or seasonal employee injured during the course of your work
- Your employer has workers’ compensation insurance, which is generally required
- The injury that you suffered while working did not occur under some circumstances that would disqualify you from coverage
One difference between workers’ compensation and disability is that, for workers’ compensation, the specific circumstances of how your disability occurred could be important. The “work-related” nature of your illness or injury could be vital to you receiving the compensation that you need.
A Lawyer May Build Your Case for Workers’ Compensation
The lawyer you hire to manage your claim should understand the process of seeking workers’ compensation, as it may be different than seeking other types of disability insurance. Your lawyer must also be able to establish that your injury occurred on the job or is related to your working conditions.
According to the Louisiana Revised Statutes (RS) §23:1021, conditions that may be covered under workers’ compensation generally include “injuries by violence to the physical structure of the body and such disease or infections as naturally result therefrom.” Even with these ailments in mind, certain circumstances might disqualify you from obtaining benefits. These circumstances may include:
- You being intoxicated at the time that an on-the-job injury happened
- You being engaged in non-work activities, such as horseplay
- You harmed yourself intentionally
- You engaged willingly in a physical altercation that resulted in your injury, and you are determined to be the aggressor in the incident
How a work-related injury occurred may not always be straightforward, so your employer might try to deny your claim if there is nuance in your situation. Your employer or their insurance company might attempt to disqualify your claim by making allegations that could hurt your chances of obtaining benefits.
It will be your lawyer’s job to take appropriate action in response to such allegations, as a contested claim could result in your case being heard by a judge or mediator. Your lawyer may represent you during any processes necessary to complete your claim.
You May Receive Coverage for Losses Related to Your Injury or Illness
RS §23:1202 notes that you may generally receive compensation for a portion of your lost income when you receive workers’ compensation benefits. The statute adds that the maximum amount of income replacement you may receive is roughly two-thirds of your average wages before the injury.
Your lawyer may fight to obtain the maximum amount of wage replacement that they can, and attempt to secure these benefits for as long as you are eligible to receive them. Additionally, you may receive coverage for medical costs stemming from an on-the-job injury.
The cost of an injury or illness sustained during the course of your employment may be significant. Some expenses you may face might include costs for:
- Diagnosing your injury
- Follow-up consultations with medical professionals
- Long-term medical treatment
- Appointments to monitor the progress of your recovery
- Rehabilitation for an injury
- Periodic check-ups
You could face even more costs specific to the injury or illness affecting you or your loved one. Your lawyer will fight for your medical costs to be covered, as this may be your right as the recipient of workers’ compensation.
Call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
Being injured on the job can have a devastating effect on yourself and people who depend on you financially. You may hire a lawyer to help you seek the workers’ compensation that you need. Call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers today at (337) 777-7777 for a free consultation.