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Can workers’ compensation cover lost wages?

On Behalf of | May 26, 2022 | Workers' Compensation

Most full time employees in New Jersey are covered by the workers’ compensation insurance plans that are held by their employers. Workers’ compensation benefits typically pay for the medical expenses that a worker might incur after they are injured in a work-related accident. In some cases, workers’ compensation may also cover a worker’s lost wages.

Lost wage payments

Workers’ compensation insurance plans cover lost wages for people who are unable to return to work after being injured on the job. A work injury must have resulted in a partial or total disability, and it could be temporary or permanent. To qualify for lost wage benefits, injured workers must have a doctor’s note that explains their injuries and physical limitations.

Full paycheck is not covered

Injured workers do not receive compensation that is equal to their entire normal paycheck. Workers’ compensation benefits only cover a percentage of a person’s lost wages that is set by state law. In most states, the benefit is equal to two-thirds of their salary.

Because some workers don’t earn the same amount of money from one week to the next, an average must be taken to determine an injured worker’s lost wage benefit. The average is calculated using the past 52 weeks of paychecks.

Workers’ compensation disputes

In some cases, workers’ compensation insurance companies refuse to pay for certain medical treatments. There are other cases where injured workers disagree with the average weekly wage calculations. When problems like this arise, an injured worker may decide to file a claim against the workers’ compensation insurance company.