Does Workers Comp Cover Medical Bills?
Workers’ compensation is a system in the United States and many other countries that provide benefits to employees who are injured or become ill as a result of their job. In most cases, if your injury requires medical care, workers’ comp will cover medical bills and lost wages.
Contact Collier Law for assistance with your workers’ comp case to learn more about workers’ compensation benefits and your rights.
North Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation System
The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act was created in 1929. The Act provides that employers or their insurance carrier pay benefits to an injured worker who is injured or becomes disabled as a result of a work-related injury. The Workers’ Compensation Act allows employers to self-insure if they can show financial ability to do so.
Workers’ comp is a no-fault system, which means that the injured worker does not have to prove that their employer was at fault for the injury in order to receive benefits.
What is Covered by Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation covers medical bills and lost wages related to an injury or illness that occurred while you were working. In most cases, workers’ compensation will cover all of your medical expenses that are directly related to the injury or illness, including prescriptions, doctor visits, surgery, and hospital stays. Included within this definition of medical expenses is mileage for trips over 20 miles round trip, whether it be to the doctor or physical therapy.
Lost wages are also covered by workers’ compensation. The amount of lost wages will vary depending on the severity of your injury or illness and how long it takes you to recover from it. You should not expect to be paid for any time off due to sick days or vacation days that occurred before your injury or illness. Lost wages are calculated by taking what you make on week average and multiplying that by ⅔. (Lost wages are tax-free under workers’ comp.)
What are the Types of Benefits I Can Receive?
There are three types of benefits that you may receive under workers’ compensation: medical benefits, temporary disability benefits, and permanent disability benefits.
- Medical benefits include payment for doctor’s visits, hospital stays, prescriptions, and other medical expenses related to the injury.
- Temporary Total Disability benefits are payments made to you while you cannot work due to the injury. You may either be written out of work completely, or you may have light duty restrictions the employer cannot accommodate.
- Temporary Partial Disability benefits are payments made when you return to work, but you aren’t making as much as you were prior to your injury. For instance, if you worked overtime prior to getting hurt and then only work light duty regular hours after your injury, workers’ comp would make up ⅔ of the difference.
- Permanent Partial Disability benefits are payments made to you if you have a permanent physical impairment rating to a body part as a result of the injury.
Are There any Exceptions to Workers’ Compensation Coverage?
Workers’ compensation does not cover non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. Pain and suffering is a term that is used to describe the physical and emotional pain and anguish that an injury or illness can cause.
While North Carolina’s workers’ compensation law does not permit you to recover benefits for pain and suffering, having an experienced workers’ comp attorney from Collier Law can help ensure you obtain maximum compensation for your injuries.
How do I Know if Workers’ Compensation Will Cover My Medical Bills?
If you are injured or become ill as a result of your job, the best way to find out if workers’ compensation will cover your medical bills is to contact an attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation law. Collier Law can help you determine whether you are eligible for benefits and help you file a claim.
Do I Need Health Insurance Under Workers’ Comp?
Generally, yes. Workers’ comp insurance will usually only cover medical expenses related to the injury or illness that occurred as a result of the job. If you have health insurance through your employer, this will likely still be your primary source of coverage for any injuries or illnesses that occur outside of work.
If you do not have health insurance, you may be able to qualify for Medicaid or other government-sponsored health insurance programs.
What Should I Do if My Workers’ Compensation Claim is Denied?
If your workers compensation claim is denied, usually your employer or insurance carrier will file a Form 61 and send you a copy. Once you receive this, give an attorney a call who will appeal the denial by filing a Form 33 Request for Hearing.
Workers’ Comp Frequently Asked Questions
What If My Employer Refuses to Pay?
If your employer refuses to pay for workers’ compensation benefits that you are entitled to, you should speak with an attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation law to help you get the benefits you deserve.
What if Workers’ Comp Refuses to Pay?
If you have been injured on the job and workers’ compensation refuses to pay your medical bills, contact an attorney. Collier Law can help you file a workers’ comp claim and fight for the benefits that you deserve.
How Long Does it Take to Get Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
It can take anywhere from two weeks to several months for workers’ compensation benefits to start being paid out. The amount of time that it takes will depend on the severity of your injury or illness, how long you are unable to work because of it, the speed with which you file your claim, and the speed the insurance carrier conducts their investigation.
Can I be Fired for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
No, you cannot be fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim. In fact, it is illegal for your employer to fire you or take any other type of retaliatory action against you because you filed a claim.
Can I Get Workers’ Compensation If I get COVID-19 On The Job?
There is no definitive answer to this question at this time. However, it is likely that workers’ compensation would cover medical expenses related to COVID-19 if you contracted the virus while on the job. Please consult with an attorney at Collier Law to discuss your COVID claim further.
How Collier Law Can Help You With the Workers’ Compensation Process
If you or someone you love has suffered a job-related injury or illness, call an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer at Collier Law for assistance with your workers’ comp case.
You are so much more than a number to us: we value our attorney-client relationship and getting the justice you deserve. We are advocates for injured employees. Call for a free consultation to find out how we may assist you.