You get injured on the job, and your first thought isn’t for yourself. Yes, you have a lot of questions about your health and your future, but you’re much more worried about your family.
After all, you’re the only breadwinner. You always have been. Without your income, how can you possibly keep food on the table and gas in the car? While you recover, how will you provide for your family?
Workers’ comp does replace wages
The main focus of workers’ compensation is on covering your medical bills. You were hurt on the job, and so the program should pay for the treatment you need. An employee shouldn’t suddenly find themselves with overwhelming debt just because they suffered an injury at work.
That said, workers’ comp can also replace some of the wages that you’re going to lose while you recover. Your employer may only pay for the hours you work — meaning you have no income while recovering — but workers’ comp can replace that income. You can use it to buy food, gas and everything else you need, covering your normal bills. Just don’t think of it as extra income.
You do need to be aware that many workers’ comp wage replacements are just for two-thirds of what you were earning before. For instance, if you made $6,000 per month at work, you may only get $4,000 per month from workers’ comp. However, your traditional wages are taxed and your workers’ comp benefits are not, so the gap isn’t as wide as it sounds.
This does underscore why you can’t look at these payments as extra wages, though. You may need every last cent just to cover your basic costs until you can get back to work again.
Do you need to get that compensation soon?
If you have been hurt on the job, it’s important to quickly begin looking into all of the options that you have. This can be a fairly complex legal process, and you know you have a lot on the line, so make sure you are aware of all of the proper steps you’ll have to take.