Is Workers’ Comp Based On My Income?

workers' comp

Workers’ compensation in Wisconsin offers essential benefits if you are sidelined with a work-related injury or illness. You may be eligible for benefits for medical expenses and income to offset what you lose because of your injury. To receive workers’ comp benefits in Wisconsin, you must report the injury within 30 days.

A common question is whether workers’ comp is based on one’s income. Yes, and below is essential information to fully answer this question. Please contact our Wisconsin workers’ comp attorneys at Gillick, Wicht, Gillick & Graf today for more information.

Wisconsin Temporary Disability Benefits

You may receive temporary disability benefits in Wisconsin in Appleton, Fon du Lac, Fox Valley, Green Bay, and more, as you recover from your injury. This benefit is based on your wage at the time of the injury or the previous year. Note that you could receive either temporary total disability or temporary partial disability. However, in Wisconsin, your temporary disability benefits are not paid for the first three days you are off work unless the disability lasts more than a week.

Temporary Total Disability

You may receive temporary total disability (TTD) benefits if you cannot perform any job as you recover from your illness or injury. Or, you can receive them if you can return to restricted work but your employer cannot accommodate your restrictions.

Your temporary total disability benefits are based on 2/3 of your average weekly gross wages at the time of the injury or occupational illness. The maximum changes annually, but for 2020, the maximum temporary disability payment was $1,051. Your TTD benefits continue until you return to work or your physician says you have gotten to the end of healing or ‘maximum medical improvement.’  This means your condition will not improve anymore with medical treatments.

Temporary Partial Disability

If you can go back to your job but cannot earn as much as you could before the injury, you may be eligible for temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits. The amount you get for TPD is 2/3 of the difference between what you made before and after your injury or illness. Note that your pre-injury wage maximum is the same as TTD benefits. For example, you made $1,000 per week but only earn $700 now. This means you will receive $200 in temporary partial disability benefits.

Wisconsin Permanent Disability Benefits

When you have gotten to maximum medical improvement, your physician will look you over and determine if you have a permanent functional impairment. If you have some degree of permanent disability, it is typically partial. If that is the case, the doctor will give you a permanent partial disability rating. This number is provided as a percentage of impairment.

Your amount of Wisconsin permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits also is determined as 2/3 of your average weekly salary. But the maximum is lower than for TPD or TTD. As of 2020, the maximum rate for PPD in Wisconsin was $362 weekly.

Disability Benefits For Permanent Disfigurement In Wisconsin

If the job-based injury left you disfigured in an obvious way and could lower your wages, the state’s workers’ comp division could award you additional funds. This depends on what the commission believes is fair, considering your job, education, training, and age.

What Are The Most Common Types of Work Injuries?

Job-based injuries can include repetitive stress injuries (carpal tunnel syndrome) or knee injuries requiring joint replacement. Other injuries are more serious, such as paralysis or death. Some of the most common types of job-based injuries are

  • Slip-and-fall injuries
  • Reaching and lifting
  • Pushing and pulling
  • Motor vehicle injuries, including car and truck accidents
  • Malfunctions of machinery
  • Catching or lifting patients in a healthcare facility
  • Falls on ladders or scaffolding

What About Lump-Sum Disability Payments In Wisconsin?

Most workers’ comp benefits in the state are paid in weekly benefits. In addition, they are paid in a certain amount over a fixed period. However, in some cases, lump sum payments may be available. If you think you are entitled to a lump sum workers’ comp payment, you should talk to an attorney today. Getting a lump-sum workers’ comp payment is challenging, and your attorney knows how to get the workers’ comp insurance company to negotiate. The good news is most workers’ comp cases in Wisconsin can be settled without going to court, including for lump-sum payments.

Can You Sue Your Wisconsin Employer?

You cannot sue your employer for a work injury in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Workers’ Comp system is set up to provide benefits for work injuries and is an ‘exclusive remedy.’

It is understandable if the inability to file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer is upsetting. After all, workers’ comp benefits do not pay for pain and suffering damages. Still, you can receive substantial benefits in a workers’ comp claim, including for medical costs, permanent disabilities, and lost time benefits. Therefore, you should always have your workers’ comp case reviewed by a qualified Wisconsin attorney. That way, you will have a good idea if your claim is valid.

Get Help With Our Wisconsin Workers’ Comp Lawyers

What if you have been injured on the job in Wisconsin, such as at Northwestern Mutual, Fiserv, Rockwell Automation, or another firm? If your company is disputing your workers’ comp claim, you should speak to one of our Wisconsin workers’ comp lawyers. Our attorneys can review the case and determine how much in benefits you should receive according to Wisconsin law. Please contact our Wisconsin workers’ comp attorneys now for assistance.

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