The amount of workers compensation benefits you can get will vary according to your injury and the preferences of your employer. All persons who have been injured on-the-job will receive payment in full for the costs of their medical treatment. This coverage also includes reimbursement for out-of-pocket costs like crutches, over-the-counter medicines, mileage to and from doctor’s appointments, and more.
You may also be entitled to weekly compensation benefits to pay for the cost of income you lose as a result of the injury. In Maine, these benefits are only available if you have to miss more than seven days of work because of your injury.
Finally, workers’ compensation can pay for vocational training. This training may be needed to help you find a new occupation if your injury results in permanent disability that does not allow you to return to work.
If you are denied any of these benefits, you can get an experienced Maine workers’ compensation lawyer to help you. They will assemble the evidence and documentation needed to effectively argue your case and increase your chances of recovering the benefits you feel you should be entitled to.
You can learn more about the benefits offered for workers’ comp by reading on.
Payment for Medical Treatment and All Related Expenses
When your injury is covered by workers’ comp, all billing from hospitals and clinics should invoice directly to your workers’ comp plan. Any out-of-pocket expenses you pay can also be reimbursed if you can provide the documentation needed to show that it was a necessary expense as a result of your treatment.
Your medical costs will be covered for as long as you need to fully recover. Injury victims who need ongoing rehabilitative therapy, for instance, may have the costs of their therapy covered for months or even years — as long as it takes for them to recover.
An employer may dispute certain medical costs and treatments as unnecessary and refuse to pay for them. You can appeal this decision by providing proof that your treatments are necessary and will be effective towards helping you recover. In some instances, you may be able to recover the costs of treatment directly from the Maine Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) if your employer continues to refuse.
Ongoing Weekly Compensation Benefits
While you are unable to work, your employer must pay you for 2/3 (66.66%) of your lost income for as long as it takes you to recover. In Maine, however, you will not receive these benefits if you are out of work less than seven days, and you will only receive the full available benefits if you are out of work for 14 days or more.
Those with a permanent, total disability, or “total incapacity,” can claim weekly benefits for the rest of their life. Those with a permanent partial disability can claim partial benefits for the rest of their life — e.g., someone who has lost 40% of their mobility in their legs can claim 40% of the total available benefits.
If you are unable to return to your old position as a result of your injury, your employer or the Maine WCB will pay for vocational rehabilitation training to help you gain skills needed to find a new position and adjust to your disability.
What Isn’t Covered By Workers’ Comp
Unlike liability claims, workers’ comp does not pay for pain and suffering, emotional distress or loss of in-kind services like housekeeping. In some incidents, you can sue a third-party — someone who is not your employer — to recover these damages.
What to Do If Your Employer Disputes Your Workers’ Comp Benefits
If your employer does not wish to cover part or all of the costs associated with your injury, they will file a Notice of Controversy with the Maine WCB. They can also request to stop benefits for various reasons.
If you feel like you have unfairly been denied benefits, you can dispute the Notice of Controversy with the help of a Maine workers’ comp attorney.
You can contact Lowry & Associates today at 207-775-3819 or fill out our free case review form to receive guidance for moving forward on your case and increase your chances of having the dispute weigh in your favor.