When an employer or workers compensation insurance carrier accepts liability for an injury or is ordered to provide benefits by the N.C. Industrial Commission for a work place injury, the injured worker is entitled to receive 2 sets of benefits, disability compensation and medical compensation.
Disability compensation takes 3 different forms: total disability, partial disability or a disability rating.
When the injured worker is removed from all work he or she may be entitled to a total disability benefits based on 2/3rd of the wages the injured worker was earning during the year before the date of injury.
When the injured worker is assigned work restrictions that prevent the injured workers’ return to work for the employer or any other employer, the injured worker may be entitled to total disability check based on 2/3rd of the wages the injured worker was earning for the employer leading up to the date of injury.
When the injured work is assigned work restrictions, which do not prevent the injured worker’s return to work for the employer or another employer, but due to the work restrictions the injured worker is earning less than before the injury, the injured worker may be entitled to a partial disability check. The amount of the partial disability check is calculated by comparing the wages the injured worker earned from the employer before the injury to the wages after the injury and the injured worker may receive a check for 2/3rd of the difference between the pre and post injury wages.
When the treating physician has reached a point that all of the treatment which can be provide has been provided and any recovery for this treatment would be realized, the treating physician will place the injured workers at what is known as maximum medical improvement (MMI). At this point the treating physician can assign a percentage of disability to the injured body part. Under N.C.’s workers’ compensation law each body part is assigned a certain number of weeks of potential benefits. The percentage of disability is applied to the number of weeks assigned to the injured body part in order to determine the additional weeks of disability check owed due to the assigned disability rating.
For medical compensation, the injured worker may be entitled to the employer or workers’ compensation insurance carrier’s payment to the medical providers for any medical treatment for which the physician feels is necessary due to the injury at work. This medical compensation provide to the medical provide as the injured worker receives the medical treatment from the medical provider.
Including in medical compensation is also the injured worker’s potential entitlement to mileage reimbursement for travel for medical treatment and reimbursement for any out of pocket expense incurred by the injured work for prescriptions.
If there are ever any questions about these possible benefits owed or if you are receiving all the benefits you may be entitled to as the result of your injury at work, please feel free to contact Cardinal Law Partner and speak with one of our board certified workers’ compensation specialists in order to obtain a free case evaluation so that we can determine what additional benefit you may be owed due to your injury at work.