What You Need To Know About Wisconsin Workers’ Compensation
When you are hurt at work in Wisconsin, you have the right to apply for workers’ compensation insurance in most situations. Workers’ comp pays essential benefits to employees with work-related injuries and illnesses. Some benefits you are entitled to include medical treatment, lost weekly wages, rehabilitation, and more. Learn more about Wisconsin workers’ compensation in this article. If you have questions, our workers’ compensation attorneys in Milwaukee at Gillick, Wicht, Gillick & Graf can help.
Temporary Disability Benefits Overview
You can receive temporary disability benefits in Milwaukee while you recover from your work-related injury or illness. Depending on the situation, you may receive either temporary total disability (TTD) or temporary partial disability (TPD). Note that you will not receive workers’ compensation benefits for your first three days out of work. However, this rule does not apply if your injury or illness lasts over a week.
You may be eligible for temporary total disability if you cannot perform any job while recovering from your illness or injury. Or, you can receive TTD if you can return to restricted duty, but have yet to be offered work that provides for your limitations.
TTD benefits in Wisconsin are determined as 2/3 of your average weekly earnings before you were hurt, up to a maximum benefit that is changed yearly. In 2020, the top TTD benefit in the state was $1,051.
You may receive TTD benefits until you return to work or your physician states that you are at ‘maximum medical improvement.’ This means your illness or injury will no longer improve with additional medical intervention.
If you can go back to work, you can receive partial benefits. You can receive 2/3 of your salary before you were hurt and what you can earn after the injury. Note that your pre-injury income is subject to maximum benefits. If you made $1,000 per week, you could only receive $700 in TPD benefits.
Permanent Partial Disability Benefits Overview
After you are at MMI, your physician will examine you. She will decide if you have permanent limitations because of your injury or illness. Usually, if you have some degree of permanent disability, you will be determined to be partially disabled. So, the doctor will give you a permanent impairment rating.
Your PPD benefits are also determined as 2/3 of your weekly average earnings. However, the maximum benefit is lower than for temporary disability. Also, the total amount is not increased annually. As of 2020, the total compensation for PPD in Wisconsin was $362 per week.
If you have gone back to work, you will still receive PPD benefits according to your limited physical abilities. However, if you cannot make at least 85% of what you made before you were hurt, your benefits could be adjusted to account for your reduced ability to earn a living.
More Important Information About Wisconsin Workers’ Compensation Benefits
There are other important points to understand if you have been injured at work in Wisconsin:
Workers’ Comp Is Only For Employees
These benefits are only for employees. You are eligible for workers comp if you get a W-2 and a weekly paycheck. In addition, some employers may attempt to classify you as an independent contractor.
This is sometimes done to avoid paying workers comp benefits. If you think this is happening in your case, talk to a workers’ comp lawyer in Wisconsin.
Most Employees Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits
State law requires most companies to provide workers’ compensation insurance to employees. However, there are some exceptions. For example, you may be ineligible if you work for a farm. Also, some companies are governed by workers’ compensation laws for federal workers and not state laws. Domestic workers and volunteers also do not qualify for worker’s compensation.
Workers’ Compensation Covers Mental And Physical Injuries
Receiving workers’ compensation in Wisconsin means you have suffered mental or physical impairment because of a job-related accident or illness. Some examples of injuries that may qualify for benefits are:
- Cuts and bruises
- Crushing injuries
- Loss of vision or hearing
- Strains and sprains
- Respiratory illnesses
- Paralysis – partial or total
However, the above are only examples. Other mental and physical injuries may be covered. If you are unsure if your injury or illness is covered, talk to a workers’ compensation attorney in Milwaukee today.
Always Choose Your Own Physician
After you are hurt at work, you should get medical treatment right away. Under the law, you can select any medical professional for treatment as long as they are licensed. Your company cannot tell you where to receive treatment for your injuries. However, you may be required to be examined by a company doctor. If you get a request to undergo an independent medical exam, you should talk to an attorney.
There are situations where the doctor for the IME may underestimate the severity of your injuries. However, you can counter this argument by presenting the findings of your personal physician.
Tell Your Employer About Your Injury
It is understandable if you hesitate to tell your employer about your injury. However, this is a vital part of filing your claim. You should report the injury or illness within 30 days, but the sooner the better. While you have up to 24 months to file a claim, it can become difficult to receive benefits if you delay.
Also, your company cannot fire you if you decide to file for workers’ comp. However, you should talk to a workers’ comp attorney if you suspect that happened.
Contact Workers’ Compensation Lawyers In Milwaukee
After you are hurt at work, you may consider walking to the HR department and filing a workers’ compensation claim. But is this a good idea? It may be a mistake to think your company has your best interests at heart. Remember, workers’ compensation insurance providers make money by reducing payouts and denying claims.
That is why many injured workers turn to workers’ compensation lawyers in Milwaukee for assistance. With the help of a workers’ compensation attorney, you may be able to get more substantial benefits.
Our workers’ compensation lawyers in Milwaukee are standing by to assist you. Contact Gillick, Wicht, Gillick & Graf today for help with your workers’ comp claim at (414) 257-2667.