When a Louisiana worker is injured in a workplace accident, there are various workers’ compensation benefits available. These can help with medical care, cover lost wages and help them make ends meet and take the time they need to recover without needing to rush for fear of no longer having a job. There are various subsets for workers’ compensation that should be understood and whether they will be important or not depends on the situation. One is supplemental earnings benefits.

When the worker has suffered an injury that results in not being able to earn wages that are equal to or more than 90 percent of the wages they made at the time of the injury, they can get supplemental earnings benefits. This will be 66 2/3 percent of the difference from what the average wages were per month when the injury came about and the average wages he or she earns in any month after the injury. It does not matter if it is the same occupation or a similar occupation as the one when the injury took place. Nor does it matter if the job is one in which he or she was trained for or qualified to do when the injury occurred. The average wages will be calculated by multiplying the wages by 52 and dividing it by 12.

The supplemental earnings benefits cannot go beyond 520 weeks. They will end in the following situations before the 520 weeks: if the worker has had temporary total disability terminated for two years unless supplemental earnings benefits were paid for a minimum of 13 weeks in a row; after the 520 weeks if there was a week where the employee was paid compensation for supplemental earnings benefits, the employer can get a reduction of one week, but if there was a week where the employee did not get supplemental earnings, there will be no reduction; or if the employee retires with the supplemental earnings still payable for at least 104 weeks.

Supplemental earnings benefits are just one aspect of workers’ compensation benefits that injured workers should know about as they apply and try to get back to full health and to work. Should there be confusion about this or any other workers’ compensation issue, a law firm that is experienced in helping injured workers get their workers’ compensation should be contacted for a consultation and advice as soon as possible.