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How long can I keep my workers’ compensation benefits?

On Behalf of | Feb 6, 2023 | Workers' Compensation

If you’ve been injured at work, then you know that it can redefine your life. You may be unable to work and earn a wage to help pay for your medical care and other of life’s necessities, but it can also limit your ability to do the things that you love. That can be frightening and stressful, especially if you’re worried about how your inability to work could cause you to lose your vehicle or your home.

Fortunately, you probably won’t have to let it get that bad. This is because your workplace injury might allow you to seek workers’ compensation benefits. If you’re successful in recovering these benefits, then you’ll receive regular payments to help offset your lost wages. These benefits can be a real financial lifeline in your time of need.

But how long will your workers’ compensation benefits last?

This depends on your circumstances and the classification of your disability. After looking at the facts of your situation, your injury will be classified as one of the following:

  • Temporary total disability
  • Temporary partial disability
  • Permanent total disability
  • Permanent partial disability

Once that determination is made, a calculation will occur that will specify how much your benefits will pay you. You can then stay on workers’ compensation for up to 525 weeks if your injury is severe and ongoing enough to warrant them for that long.

How can you make sure that you keep your benefits as long as possible?

Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer is going to want to get you back to work as quickly as possible so that they can stop paying you as soon as possible. This means that your claim will continue to be reviewed at periodic intervals to ensure that you still qualify for benefits. Additionally, your medical records and the care that you’ve received will be scrutinized, and you might even be requested to submit to additional independent medical evaluations.

To protect your benefits, you’ll want to make sure that you’re following your doctor’s recommendations. You’ll also want to seek a second opinion if you feel like the one you’ve been given is too generously in favor of the insurance company’s position.

Be careful how you portray your lifestyle

Also, make sure that you’re living your life in accordance with your injuries. Your claim to additional benefits can be quickly derailed if you’re caught going for a jog or lifting heavy furniture during a move. And insurance companies have been known to investigate injured workers to see if they can catch them engaging in these sorts of activities.

Therefore, you should avoid strenuous activity that gives the perception that you’re healthier than you are and avoid posting a lot on social media. After all, these posts could come back to bite you, leaving you back-pedaling as you fight to keep your benefits.

Don’t lose out on the benefits that you need

Workers’ compensation benefits can go a long way toward giving you financial stability while you focus on your recovery and getting back to work. But successfully obtaining these benefits on the front end is merely the beginning of the process. You have to know how to protect your interests until such time as you return to work, or you exhaust the workers’ compensation benefits that you deserve.

That’s why a lot of injured workers turn to skilled legal teams like ours for assistance. If you’d like to learn more about what a competent legal professional can do for you in your case, then you may want to think about reaching out to one sooner rather than later.