Benefits Available For Injured Workers
As an injured worker in North Carolina, you may qualify for various levels of benefits, depending upon the designated level of your disability. Your treating doctor will sign off on your designation when he or she feels you have attained maximum medical improvement.
Available workers’ compensation benefits include:
- Medical treatment: Your treatment will be paid by your employer, either through the insurance provider or through a self-insurance fund. There are some limitations placed on chiropractic care for ongoing treatment and physical therapy. You have the right to choose your own medical provider and can change doctors, but any doctor you choose must be on the list approved by the North Carolina Industrial Commission.
- Temporary partial disability (TPD): If your injury leaves you partially disabled but you are able to return to work in a reduced capacity, pay benefits will make up two-thirds (66 percent) of the difference between your former average weekly pay and your reduced pay when you return to work. Duration of weekly payments is set annually by the North Carolina Industrial Commission. Currently, these benefits can be paid for up to 300 weeks if your injury was before June 24, 2011, or 500 weeks if your injury was after June 24, 2011.
- Temporary total disability (TTD): If your injury means you are unable to return to work while you recover from a total disability, you can receive two-thirds of your average weekly wage for the 52-week period prior to your accident. There is a seven-day waiting period for which you will not receive payment, unless you are off work for more than 21 days. At that point, you will receive payment retroactive to the first seven days. For injuries prior to June 24, 2011, you may be eligible for lifetime benefits if you cannot return to work. After June 24, 2011, your eligibility would be limited to 500 weeks of compensation.
- Permanent partial disability (PPD): If your workplace accident results in a permanent partial disability and you cannot return to work in your previous employment, you are entitled to receive a payment based on the schedule of benefits published by the Industrial Commission Lump-sum payments may be negotiated. If your partial disability means you are unable to return to your former work career, you also qualify for employment retraining.
- Permanent total disability (PTD): A total disability may mean you are entitled to receive lifetime benefits to support yourself and your family. These weekly payments will be set at two-thirds of your pay and may be settled as a lump-sum payment. You may also be eligible to apply for federal Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.
- Death benefits: If you lost a spouse in a workplace accident or as the result of an occupational disease, you must file a claim for death benefits within two years of the death. Lump-sum settlements can be negotiated.
Get Answers About Your Benefits Today
Call Ganly & Ramer, P.L.L.C., with questions about your workplace injury and benefits you are entitled to receive. Call us at 828-348-6957 or use our convenient email contact form to arrange a free consultation. We work on a contingency fee basis. You will not pay attorneys’ fees or case preparation costs if you do not receive workers’ compensation benefits.