Imagine a lifesaver attached to a rope thrown from a ship to a drowning man in the ocean. For a catastrophically injured worker, this is exactly what the Wisconsin workers' compensation program is.
If you get hurt on the job, and you're not able to continue working while recovering from injuries, you'll be in serious trouble. Not only will you have steep medical bills to pay for, but your ability to earn an income will also be put on hold because of your injuries. However, a successfully navigated workers' compensation claim will pay for much of these costs.
A few facts you may not know about workers' compensation
Here are a few facts you may not have known about workers' compensation in Wisconsin:
- Most workers are covered: Most workers are covered by state workers' compensation insurance. If you suffered any kind of injury or illness caused by or related to your job, you can probably apply for benefits to pay for the costs associated with your medical care. You may also be able to get lost wages benefits.
- Workers' compensation benefits are tax-exempt: Your workers' compensation benefits are tax-exempt. This means that the wage-replacement money you receive will be exempt from federal income taxes. Wage replacement benefits will not cover your full wages that you normally receive; however because they are tax-exempt, it's likely that you'll receive close to the amount of take-home pay to which you've grown accustomed.
- Lifetime disability benefits could be available: If your work-related injuries or illnesses cause you to suffer a lifetime disability, you may be able to receive lifetime disability benefits that compensate you for your inability to work.
- Money to pay for retraining costs: If a permanent injury means you can't carry out your current job, but you could do another job with appropriate training, workers' compensation benefits could pay for your retraining costs.
- If you die on the job, workers' compensation has your family and dependents covered: Following a fatal job-related accident, or a job-related illness-caused death, family members of the deceased worker can apply for death benefits to help them financially after losing their loved one. Some financial dependents may also be able to apply for death benefits.
Do you need to file a workers' compensation claim?
Before filing a workers' compensation claim, injured workers may want to learn about the scope and nature of the benefits they have the right to receive. This will assist workers in determining if they have received the full amount of benefits available. Also, understanding more about workers' compensation law will help workers ensure that they have submitted their applications appropriately.