Workers in Louisiana who suffer workplace injuries can get a variety of benefits to cover their wages and pay for medical care through workers’ compensation insurance. Since there are often concerns about what these benefits cover and the different areas for which workers can receive compensation, it is important to understand all the different areas. One area is indemnity benefits.
Indemnity benefits are paid weekly or monthly if the worker cannot get back on the job and this lasts for more than seven calendar days. Regardless of the disability benefits the workers is getting – Temporary Total Disability, Permanent Total Disability or benefits based on a fatality – the worker will receive the initial installment on the 14th day after the employer has been informed of the incident and injury or death. There will be no payments for the first week after the worker was injured unless the disability lasts two or more weeks after the accident occurred.
While a worker is receiving TTD, the indemnity benefits will be paid at 66 2/3 percent of the average weekly wages the employee earned. There is a maximum amount the Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration sets and the payment cannot go beyond it. This will be based on the date at which the accident happened. Workers can also get Supplemental Earnings Benefits if they were able to return to the job, but could not earn a minimum of 90 percent of what was earned before the injury.
Should the worker die within two years of the final treatment for the injury in the accident, the spouse or dependent might be able to get indemnity benefits. Without surviving dependents, the parents of the person can get a one-time payment of $75,000. Costs for burial and other reasonable expenses can also be paid, up to $8,500. When there is a catastrophic injury, the worker can get a one-time payment of $50,000. Indemnity benefits can be reduced if the injured worker receives Social Security Disability benefits.
Being injured on the job and being unable to work can cause worry that goes beyond thinking about getting treatment and getting better. It can be a stressful time wondering about how the medical expenses will be paid and what to do about income. Workers’ compensation benefits are meant to help those who have been injured on the job make ends meet and receive medical care. In some cases, however, there is a dispute as to the extent of the injury and whether the worker can work again or not. Should there be an issue with workers’ compensation, having legal representation is critical and a law firm experienced in these matters may be able to help.