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My injuries prevent me from working: Can I get benefits?

Imagine you're a blue collar kind of guy, who has run into some bad luck on the job. After 20 years in the construction business, you've made good money, and never had a single injury, but a month ago your luck changed. You fell off a ladder, you got hurt and you haven't been able to work.

Like most hardworking Wisconsinites, you've got kids to feed and a home to take care of. Losing a month's worth of income has been one of the hardest things you've ever had to endure -- even harder than the back and neck pain that's preventing you from going to your construction job. Is there a way you can get money to help you through this rough patch?

Fortunately, the answer is probably "yes." The Wisconsin workers' compensation program exists to protect workers just like you -- so you can pay for medical care and rehabilitative services after a serious injury. In addition to medical benefits, if you have to spend an extended amount of time away from work while recovering, you can also get wage replacement benefits.

Workers' compensation wage replacement benefits

Wage replacement benefits, when approved, tend to be about two-thirds of what you made while working. There are caps that apply, so high-income workers might not reach the full two-thirds figure, but if you were making a "fair" or "average" wage in Wisconsin, you'll probably receive about two-thirds. Don't be discouraged that you're only getting two-thirds of your former wages. Workers' compensation benefits are exempt from taxes, so you will keep the full amount of this money -- and that may bring you very close to the amount you earned while healthy and able.

If your injuries persist for many months, or even years, you can continue to receive workers' compensation wage replacement benefits in many cases. You will, however, need to show medical documentation of the extent of your injuries and why they have left you with a long-term disability.

Need help getting qualified for wage replacement benefits?

Applying for and getting approved for workers' compensation wage replacement benefits is not always cut and dried. Legal expertise may be required to get you the benefits you have a right to receive. A workers' compensation lawyer can help you review the facts surrounding your injuries to ensure that you are appropriately seeking the maximum level of benefits in your case.

Source: Nov. 30, -0001

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Mudge Porter Lundeen & Seguin, S.C.
110 Second Street
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Hudson, WI 54016

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