Practical Advice for Workers’ Compensation Claimants
Today, let's work on giving some practical advice to this injured worker and their family. Like any injury that takes away your normal paycheck, this one will require planning and a few sacrifices will need to be made.
Question: What amount can I ask for if I am temporarily completely disabled and have pending therapy and/or surgery for a torn right rotator cuff?
Question Detail: The steady workload increased over the ten-month period. I am on 12-hour shifts, no breaks, 4 days a week. I told supervisor and General Manager of the injury. They told me that they would get back to me but there's still no action taken after three months. I went to the doctor on my own.
Answer: The answer to this question is not a known dollar amount. The dollar amount you are owed is determined by a putting together several pieces of information and then applying them to your unique situation or the group to which you belong. (Groupings are married, single and number of dependents.) We need to know how much you earned in the past 13 to 20 weeks and then we calculate an average weekly wage using your gross earnings from 13 full-time weeks of earnings. Part-time work for a full-time worker is excluded. Bonus or overtime work is included, but only at your normal hourly rate. Weeks where you took sick time will likely be excluded unless paid.
Temporary but complete disability is covered; but then only for work-related injury time off and then only if a doctor opines your time off is necessary and related to the work injury rehabilitation. Yours sounds like it is work related and necessary.
Delay? You’re mad about the delay I assume. I understand why, but its all part of the workers’ compensation experience because the insurance company’s bottom line depends on delay. It’s all part of the insurance game. They make money on delay. Delay promotes the float and the float is what the executives brag about. A bigger float makes for good bragging rights at the country club. The employers don’t make money off the float, unless they are self-insured, but they have in their minds, better things to do than to work on your workers' compensation claim. Oh yeah you have bills to pay like the pesty bank who you make a mortgage payment to. Oh we forgot… right. Sorry, it’s probably not funny to you and your spouse, but 30 years of seeing it over and over and over again requires a sense of humor.
Now, let me give your family some practical advice that should serve you well. Get your spouse out of the house and working a job while you deal with getting better. You will get used to taking care of the kids, washing dishes and doing the laundry. Cut down on all your expenses, like cable TV, buying beer, eating out, renting videos at Red Box and all the other incidentals we like to do but can’t afford after a work related injury. In other words cut out all the fat from your budget and get ready to weather this work-injury related storm that will surely envelope you family and place tremendous pressure on your family's household budget.
For today there is no better selection than Jim Morrison's Riders On The Storm.
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