You already know that people who get injured at work in Wisconsin are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. What you may not know is exactly how much your benefits would be. What level of benefits is your injury worth?
Calculating workers’ comp benefits in Wisconsin
Wisconsin’s workers’ compensation system divides work-related injuries and illnesses into four categories:
- Temporary partial disability
- Temporary total disability
- Permanent partial disability
- Permanent total disability
For a temporary partial disability, the injured worker is entitled to the difference between their average weekly wage at the time of injury and the wage they are currently able to earn. For example, say you were reassigned after your injury to a job that pays 75 percent of your old salary. Workers’ compensation can pay you the remaining 25 percent until you are fit to return to your pre-injury job.
A temporary total disability for a full-time employee pays benefits at 66.67 percent of 1) either your hourly salary multiplied by your regular number of scheduled hours; or 2) your total gross earnings for the prior 52 weeks divided by the number of weeks worked in that period, whichever is higher.
The rate for a permanent partial disability is generally 66.67 percent of their 40-hour weekly wage, up to the cap imposed annually. It is the same for permanent total disability, plus medical expenses related to the injury. Permanent total disability benefits last for the rest of your life.
Proving your claim
Whatever level of workers’ compensation benefits you are entitled to, you must present evidence that backs up your claim. This will involve things like information from your medical history, to show how your work-related illness or injury has affected your physical or mental abilities, and show that your current state is not due to a pre-existing condition. Also, written testimony from your doctor will give a prognosis of your future condition and chances of recovery. Your case should also be able to tie the injuries or illness you have suffered to your job, such as a single incident or the result of years of difficult, unnatural work duties.
Don’t give up
Employers and their workers’ compensation insurance companies often deny claims, especially when the claim is for a permanent disability that could cost them a lot of money. If your claim is denied, that is not the end of the road. You have the right to appeal and strengthen your case, with the help of a qualified workers’ comp attorney.
Contact a workers’ compensation lawyer in your area for more information.