A temporary injury such as a broken bone or strain may require that an employee take time off from work to heal. A temporarily injured worker may be worried about lost income. However, in these cases, workers can be partially compensated for lost wages.
If an injury completely prevents an employee from working until he or she has recovered, it is considered a temporary total injury. If an employee is unable to work for over seven days, he or she can begin to receive 2/3 of their usual wage in compensation. After 21 days, the worker can receive compensation for the first seven missed days.
An injured worker is considered to have a temporary partial injury when the injury forces him or her to work a reduced number of hours. In this case, the individual may be eligible to receive compensation for 2/3 of the difference between their usual and current wages. This compensation can be received for up to 300 weeks. A period of temporary total injury will be subtracted from the 300 weeks of compensation for the temporary partial injury.
According to lawyers at Scudder & Hedrick, PLLC, individuals prevented from working due to an injury should seek Short-Term Disability benefits. This can be challenging, however, as 70 percent of disability claims are denied after the first review. Procedural issues are common and frustrating, and can result in delayed benefits, even if the injured worker is entitled to compensation. Further, insurance companies have an incentive to deny claims because the fewer claims they approve, the higher their profits. Even if an individual files to appeal the claim’s rejection, only 15 percent are approved. If your claim is denied, legal assistance can support you with the appeals process. Although most individuals will give up and drop their claim after a denial, three out of five claims are approved after reaching a second appeal.