The 3 Types of Workers' Compensation Benefits

Injuries in and of themselves can cause us to seemingly have to press pause on life. Be it an accident that happened at home, in the car, or while you were out and about, injuries always tend to have some kind of impact on our day-to-day activities — even the small ones.

But, what if that injury happens at work? Getting hurt on the job can cause a whole slew of problems that may not be involved with other injuries. In the state of Louisiana, employees are required by law to compensate their workers who were injured on the job and that could be good news for you. However, not every type of employee qualifies for workers' compensation. According to the Louisiana Workforce Commission, employees of private residential household and private unincorporated firms, as well as musicians and performers under contract, are not eligible for workers' compensation.

If you do qualify for workers' compensation, there are three types of benefits available:

  • Temporary Disability Benefits
  • Supplemental Earnings Benefits
  • Permanent Total Disability Benefits

Before we dive into the different types of workers' compensation benefits that are out there, it's important to note a few basics that you will need to be aware of right up front:

  • Your injuries should be reported to your employer within 30 days.
  • The claim must be filed within one year.
  • Filing a claim doesn't guarantee a certain amount of compensation.

To learn more about the ins and outs of workers' compensation in general, visit my workers' compensation page.

Temporary Disability Benefits

If your sustained injury results in needing a minimum of seven days of recovery time, you may qualify for Temporary Disability Benefits. During your first week of recovery, you will not receive any financial compensation unless you end up not being able to work for at least two weeks. If that's the case, you'll be paid up to $657 per week for both the first week and consequent weeks that follow.

One thing that is important to realize concerning Temporary Disability Benefits is that this type of benefit is not mandated by the state. With that being said, it may be a good idea to have your own private temporary disability insurance which is also known as short-term disability insurance. As a result, this type of insurance doesn't only come in handy for injuries, but can also be used when you have children as an alternative to paternity or maternity leave.

Supplemental Earnings Benefits

Let's say your Temporary Disability Benefits run out or you didn't have Temporary Disability Benefits to begin with and your injuries prevent you from being able to earn 90% of what you were making before the injury occurred. If that's the case, you could be eligible for Supplemental Earnings Benefits. This type of benefit takes the difference between what you make post-injury (or could make) and your average weekly income pre-injury then pays 2/3 of that number.

Supplemental Earnings Benefits are paid monthly and can be received for up to ten years. If you are eligible, you will need to file a form every month to continue to receive this type of compensation.

Permanent Total Disability Benefits

In some cases, a judge will deem you physically unable to ever work again. In this situation, you may be eligible to receive Permanent Total Disability Benefits. It's important to note that not being able to work refers to any type of job, not just your current job or type of work. If you are eligible for Permanent Total Disability Benefits, you will have the option to receive weekly payments for the rest of your life or a payment in the amount of one lump sum.

You'll most likely be able to also qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits. If that is something you would like to consider, then taking the one lump sum payment may not be the ideal route. Schedule a consultation with me and we can weigh out your options together.

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