One of the most important rights you have in the workplace are the benefits you are entitled through your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance.
Workers’ compensation is designed to provide you financial relief for any medical expenses and partial lost wages from a work-related injury.
Access to workers’ compensation benefits begins the day you start working for your employer. If you are injured, you are entitled to these benefits the moment your workers’ compensation claim is approved by your employer.
Compensation for Medical Expenses
One advantage of workers’ compensation is that your claim does not have to be approved before you can begin receiving medical care.
All reasonable medical expenses related to a work-related injury should be covered by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer.
The process for obtaining these benefits begins as soon as you inform your employer of a workplace injury, which you should do immediately or within one week of the accident.
You should then immediately consult with a medical practitioner for an evaluation of your work-related injury. The practitioner will be able to diagnose your injury or illness and recommend the necessary treatment for you to recover.
You will need to inform your doctor that you are seeking workers’ compensation and have him or her complete the indicated portion of Form C-4 Employee’s Compensation Report of Initial Treatment. Within three days, he or she will mail the completed form to your employer’s insurer and third-party administrator.
Your employer’s insurer must inform you of its decision within 30 days after submitting your claim. If your claim is approved, you should immediately receive the workers’ compensation benefits that you are entitled.
Disability Benefits and Compensation for Lost Wages
If your work-related injury has caused you to miss more than five days of work, workers’ compensation should provide you with a portion of your lost wages. However, compensation for lost wages is handled differently than medical expenses.
Even after your claim is approved you might not immediately receive compensation for lost wages. You can only qualify to receive compensation for lost wages if a doctor explicitly states during your evaluation that your injury has rendered you disabled and prevents you from working.
There are several types of workers’ compensation benefits that are extended to injured employees in Nevada:
- Temporary Total Disability (TTD): These payments begin after a doctor determines your injury will prevent from working for more than five days.
- Temporary Partial Disability (TPD): These benefits begin when you are able to return to work if you are only able to perform limited duties. This pays two-thirds of the difference between your previous and current wage.
- Permanent Partial Disability (PPD): If your injury qualifies you for PPD benefits, you will be provided these payments once your TTD benefits expires.
- Permanent Total Disability (PTD): You can only receive PTD benefits if a doctor concludes that you are totally and permanently disabled.
If your workers’ compensation benefits were stopped before your doctor determined you were fit to return to work or you received benefits that do not adequately compensate your injury, contact our attorneys.
Why Did My Workers’ Compensation Benefits Stop?
Workers’ compensation is not meant as a form of permanent financial relief. In most cases, you stop receiving benefits once a doctor determines you have recovered and are able to work.
TTD benefits will last until you are able to return to work, your doctor determines you are permanently disabled or you have reached the two-year limit.
This may cause you to return to a lower-paying position while you are recovering. If this happens, you will be provided TPD payments for a maximum of two years or until a doctor finds you are able to perform your previous work duties.
If your doctor finds that you have reached maximum medical improvement and are still impaired, you may qualify to receive PPD benefits for either the next five years or until you reach the age of 70, whichever occurs first. This will depend on the area of your body that is impaired and the level of disability your doctor has rated you.
The only situation in which you can receive long-term disability payments is if you qualify for PTD benefits. If you qualify for PTD benefits, you will receive payments equal to TTD benefits each month for as long as the disability lasts.
If your workers’ compensation benefits were unjustly terminated or denied by your employer’s insurer, you can appeal the decision.
Contact an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Workers’ compensation provides important financial relief to injured workers during a difficult time.
If your workers’ compensation claim has been approved but your employer or its insurer is withholding your benefits, you should immediately contact our workers’ compensation attorneys.
We will review your claim during a free initial consultation to determine whether your benefits were unjustly denied or do not adequately match your needs to recover from your injury.
Our clients are never charged upfront for the services we offer. The only time we require payment is when we reach a fair outcome regarding your claim.