What’s the actual value of a workers’ comp claim?
Workers’ compensation is designed to provide some benefits when an injury or illness that is work-related prevents you from earning a wage. Workers can feel confident that they will still be able to pay the bills even if they work in a dangerous profession or if they suffer an unfortunate injury.
But if you’re claiming workers’ comp for a set amount of time, what’s the real value of that claim? It’s going to be different in every single case, depending on a lot of factors, but here are a few things to think about.
2/3 of your wages
First of all, workers’ comp generally pays out about 66% of your wages, or 2/3 of what you would’ve earned. Some workers assume that they are going to get 100% compensation, but it’s important to note that this doesn’t happen. This may mean that it can still be difficult for some workers to make ends meet, even if they are getting compensation.
It also means that you need to consider the amount of time that you’re going to be out of work. If you’re going to miss the next six months while you recover from the injury, substantial compensation may be necessary. Even at 2/3 of your normal wage, that’s just a very long time to go without earning a traditional paycheck. But if you’re only going to be out for a week or so, the compensation can be much lower.
The cost of medical bills
Of course, workers’ comp is also supposed to cover medical bills. In some ways, this provides the biggest variable. It all depends on the type of injury that you suffered and the type of treatment that you need. You can imagine that it is vastly more expensive to cover something like spinal cord surgery compared to a broken hand – although both of them could keep you out of work.
To give you some idea of what this may look like, it’s worth noting that the average workers’ comp payout is just over $42,000. Once again, the exact total that is necessary is going to be different from case to case, but this shows you how much other workers tend to get in what you may be able to expect if you’re in a similar situation.
If you are trying to see the benefits that you deserve, make sure you know exactly what legal steps to take.