Can I Get Benefits to Replace My Wages?
When you suffer an injury at work, one of your first concerns may be how you will cope financially. Many injuries are mild and will not leave you off work long, but some are more severe. You could face weeks, months or even years off work as you recover. Not having an income while off could be devastating to your family, especially if you are the main wage earner.
Under workers’ compensation, according to the Department of Labor & Workforce Development, you can get benefits to replace your wages, but there are limitations to the benefits. To begin with, you do not receive payment for lost wages unless you miss seven days of work. At that point, you will begin receiving payments on the eighth day, but your employer does not pay you for the first seven days you missed work.
Amount of Benefits
The amount of pay you will receive under workers’ compensation is not equal to what you would receive if you were working. You only get two-thirds of your average pay. The computation is weekly, which is important if your wages vary because workers’ compensation will use an average of your earnings over the past year.
Do note that if you are off work for 14 days, you will then receive payment for the first seven days that you were off work. Otherwise, your employer does not pay you for those days. You do usually have the right to take paid time off or vacation pay for those days, but that is up to your employer to decide.
You do not have to be completely off work to receive wage replacement benefits. If you can return to work in a limited capacity, you may be able to get partial benefits. This is available if the restrictions will take your earnings below your average weekly wages as computed by workers’ compensation.