For a worker who is injured on the job, benefits received under the state’s workers’ compensation program are a vital source of financial support, not only for that injured worker but also for the worker’s family. According to the current laws in Louisiana, an injured worker, or the family of a worker who was killed on the job, is entitled to certain benefits under Louisiana’s workers’ compensation program.
The first, and probably the most important, among those benefits is that the insurance carrier bears the expenses for all reasonable and necessary medical care that an injured worker may need. That includes expenses incurred for doctors, hospitals, medicines, tests, certain equipment and mileage. For medical treatment that is covered by the workers’ compensation program, there is no deductible or dollar limit.
Next are disability benefits. A worker receives tax-free payments to replace a part of the wages lost as a result of not being able to work owing to a work injury. There is also a provision for supplemental earnings benefits, which are two-thirds of the average weekly wage. A worker is eligible for additional monetary benefits if that worker’s wage after returning to work is less than 90 percent of the pre-injury wage.
If a worker dies within two years of a work-related injury or illness, the surviving spouse and/or the worker’s dependents will receive death benefits per the provisions of the Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Act. If the deceased worker has no survivors, that worker’s parents will receive a one-time benefit of $75,000 each. In addition, the survivors will receive burial expenses up to a maximum of $8,500.
Finally, an injured worker is eligible for rehabilitation services to work as soon as possible. Depending on circumstances, the worker can choose to return to work at the same position; return to work at a modified position; return to work in a related occupation; receive on-the-job training for a new occupation; undergo short- and long-term retraining programs; or receive support to explore self-employment opportunities.