When you’re hurt at work, chances are you’ll be entitled to some type of financial compensation under Louisiana workers’ compensation law.
The payments you could receive are designed to help you replace some of the lost or reduced wages that resulted from your injury.
This income support takes several forms. Which one you get will largely depend on whether your injuries prevent you from working entirely, or whether they prevent you from earning the same amount. In some cases, you may be entitled to compensation even if you don’t miss time from work.
These are the major types of workers’ comp payments:
If your doctor says you can’t work at all during your treatment for your injury, you will be entitled to temporary total disability (TTD) benefits.
You get paid these benefits each week during the time you are out of work. There is no limit to the amount of time you can receive TTD benefits. You will continue to receive benefits as long as your doctor says you can’t work.
These benefits are calculated using two-thirds of your average weekly wage at the time of your accident.
In Louisiana law, another name for these weekly checks is “indemnity benefits.”
In some situations, your doctor may allow you to do some type of restricted work.
For example, if you injured your left hand but can still work using your right hand only, you are not “totally disabled,” and would not qualify for TTD benefits.
But if being unable to use your left hand causes you to lose hours at work, you will now be entitled to supplemental earnings benefits (SEB).
SEB is designed to pay you two-thirds of the difference between what you earned each month before your accident and what you’re averaging with your new physical limitations.
You receive SEB payments monthly. You’re entitled to these benefits for up to ten years, minus any time that you received TTD benefits.
If your doctor says you will never be able to return to work, you will be entitled to permanent total disability (PTD) benefits.
The amount of money you receive in PTD is the same as TTD benefits. And it’s an extremely valuable benefit, because you are entitled to PTD for the rest of your life.
The workers’ comp system, however, makes it difficult to prove that you qualify for PTD benefits.
In some situations, you may be injured but still able to work your regular job and earn your regular wages.
But you still may be entitled to workers’ comp payments even though you’re not missing work time.
For example, if you lose a finger in an accident or you suffer severe burns, but you can still go back to work earning the full amount you used to earn—you may be entitled to permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits.
Depending on the injured body part, you will be entitled to a pre-determined amount of money regardless of your return to work.
Yet another kind of workers’ compensation benefit is meant for workplace accidents that are more than accidents—they’re tragedies.
If you have a family member killed in an injury on the job, you may be entitled to death benefits and burial expenses.
As you try to sort through all these possible categories of benefits, the difficult reality is that your employer or your company’s workers’ compensation insurance will often pay you less than the full amount you are truly entitled to receive.
You can ensure that you’re getting the right kind of benefit—and the right amount—by talking to a workers’ comp lawyer at Workers’ Compensation, LLC.
You can’t be expected to know how the complicated workers’ comp system works. That’s not your job. But our workers’ comp attorneys have helped thousands of people through this process in Louisiana.
If you have any questions about what workers’ comp should be paying you, talk to us.