Which Workers’ Compensation Benefits Are Available In North Carolina?
In North Carolina, businesses with three or more employees are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage. Therefore, if you were injured on the job, you likely qualify for benefits. Unfortunately, claiming those benefits is often harder than it should be because some employers and insurers want to protect their bottom line by denying or limiting claims.
If you need help with your workers’ comp claim, contact our skilled attorneys at Farris & Thomas Law. We have an in-depth knowledge of the state’s workers’ comp system, and we work tirelessly to help our friends and neighbors claim the benefits they deserve.
On this page, we discuss the benefits that may be available to injured workers and/or their families.
Workers’ Compensation Covers Your Medical Expenses
The first benefit you should experience is coverage of medical bills and other treatment related to your workplace injury. Often, these bills will be covered directly, but you can also seek reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses. If you need to travel more than 20 miles round trip for your care, you can also seek mileage reimbursement.
One important thing to note is that insurers/employers are allowed to specify which doctor(s) an injured employee must see for treatment. If you don’t feel you are receiving the care you need from this provider, you can petition the Industrial Commission to approve treatment from a different physician.
You are typically entitled to medical benefits even if your injuries will not require you to miss work.
You Can Receive Partial Wage Replacement While Out Of Work
Workers’ compensation also provides what are known as “indemnity benefits,” or coverage of lost wages if you are unable to work for a certain period of time due to your injuries. For absences lasting up to 20 days, the first seven days of absence are not covered. However, if you are out of work for 21 days or more, those original seven days will later be compensated.
Your wage replacement benefits will depend on your determined level of disability and are calculated based on your average weekly wage prior to becoming injured. These benefits will not fully replace your wages, but they are an important source of income during a time when you otherwise wouldn’t have any.
Vocational Rehabilitation For Workers Who Cannot Return To Their Current Job
Sometimes, a work injury allows you to return to some form of gainful employment but does not allow you to resume the type of work you did leading up to the accident. In such cases, workers’ compensation benefits may include vocational rehabilitation services to help you find and/or train for other work.
Death Benefits And Funeral/Burial Expenses For Surviving Family Members
If you lost a loved one due to a fatal workplace accident or occupational illness, you may be entitled to benefits through North Carolina’s workers’ compensation system. Families can receive up to $10,000 to cover expenses related to funeral and burial services. Additionally, they may be eligible to receive weekly death benefits equivalent to two-thirds of their loved one’s weekly wage. These benefits can last for up to 500 weeks, which is more than nine years.
Our Attorneys Are Here To Help – Reach Out Today
These benefits are all possible, but claiming them (and claiming their full value) isn’t always easy. You need an advocate who understands the minutiae of North Carolina workers’ compensation laws, knows how insurers operate and who will work tirelessly to maximize the value of your claim. That’s what you can expect when you hire Farris & Thomas Law.