Like all other states, North Carolina offers workers’ compensation benefits to employees who suffered a debilitating injury or illness on the job. However, the benefits offered are usually limited, and those seeking compensation should understand their rights and options to ensure they obtain the full amount of benefits to which they are entitled. The following details a couple of areas workers need to understand regarding medical and disability benefits.
Treatment for injuries
If an employer has three or more workers, the employer must provide workers’ compensation benefits to its workers. Also, the employer or its workers’ compensation insurance company should cover the costs of medical treatment for workers that will provide a cure, relief from pain or mitigate the disability associated with the work-related injury or illness. The benefits offer no deductible or co-pay, and an employee doesn’t necessarily have to miss work to qualify.
The workers’ compensation system also allows for both temporary and permanent disability benefits for employees. These benefits are reserved for employees who experienced significant losses of wages due to being unable to work, and the benefits are based on the employee’s average weekly wage. Temporary disability benefits are paid for up to 500 weeks following the injury, and permanent disability benefits, if one qualifies, will continue for life.
Whether seeking medical benefits or wage/disability benefits, an injured worker may find the process overwhelming and complicated, and some employers and their insurance companies push back on having to provide benefits in the first place. Because of this, and the fact that one can appeal a denied claim, an injured worker in North Carolina should seek the counsel of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. By working with an attorney, a worker can increase his or her chances of obtaining the full amount of benefits they deserve under the law.