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Workers’ compensation benefits can provide essential income to people who are left unable to work because of an illness or injury that happens while on the job. These benefits can include both coverages for any medical costs associated with making a recovery and payments for lost wages during that recovery period.

In situations where a person never returns to full health, workers’ compensation insurance plans can provide lump sum payments that are designed to provide compensation for any permanent loss of workability. These factors combine to create a tangled web of available benefits for people who are injured on the job.

An experienced attorney could help people to understand the available workers’ compensation benefits in Wilmington. They could also help people who have been issued benefit packages to understand what they mean and to determine if they provide adequate compensation for their injuries.

What Short-Term Benefits do Workers’ Compensation Plans Provide?

The first form of payment that workers’ compensation plans always provide is compensation for the costs of any medical treatment needed to bring a person back to health. Plan administrators will pay doctors and hospitals directly for the cost of all treatment that is used to bring a person back to a level of maximum medical improvement. This may mean that a person makes a full recovery but may also leave a person with a permanently disabling condition.

During this recovery period, the insurance company will also pay weekly benefits. These benefits are designed to provide a stream of income while a person is seeking medical care. These workers’ compensation benefits in Wilmington are always paid at a 2/3 rate of the worker’s normal weekly income up to a maximum of $992 a week. To qualify for these benefits, an employee must miss at least 21 days of work.

In some situations, a worker may return to their job for light duty. When this applies, the benefits will pay out at 2/3 of the difference between the normal earnings and what they are currently making. For example, if a worker typically makes $500 a week, but their injury leaves them only able to make $400 a week, workers’ compensation will pay 2/3 of the $100 difference. In this case, the worker will make a total of $466 a week.

What Long-Term Payments are Available?

Workers’ compensation also provides payments to people who have suffered permanent injuries. This can include:

  • Loss of function in a limb
  • Permanent brain injuries
  • Blindness
  • Deafness

If a person suffers an injury that is so severe as to prevent them from ever working again, the insurance company will pay weekly benefits for life. These are known as permanent total disability benefits.

It is far more common for people to be able to return to work but to suffer a permanent partial reduction in their ability to do so. In these situations, the insurance company may provide partial permanent disability benefits. The value of these benefits is determined by law and considers both the nature of the injury and its effect on a person’s residual working ability. These benefits are typically paid as a lump sum. Because a permanent disability case involves extensive medical records and other documentation, victims may want to hire a skilled attorney to handle the paperwork.

Know What Workers’ Compensation Benefits Are Available in Wilmington

The available workers’ compensation benefits in Wilmington are diverse. They can include the costs of medical payments needed to bring a person back to a state of maximum medical improvement, temporary payments issued while a person makes a recovery, and compensation for any permanent loss of workability.

People who have had their claims denied, or who are offered insufficient benefit packages have the right to file an appeal. Working with an attorney could help people to understand North Carolina workers’ compensation laws and to stand up for their rights to be compensated. Contact an attorney today for more information.