Being injured on the job involves a lot of legal and administrative work that should be automated. Unfortunately, there are a few situations where your paperwork may not process properly, or when procedures aren't being followed. Assume nothing; consider these situations and make sure to have a backup plan for when the system doesn't kick into action properly, including your long-term financial prospects and your short-term needs.
What Does Workers Comp Cover?
Workers compensation (workers comp) is designed to cover your medical bills and a percentage of your pay when you're injured on the job. You shouldn't have to think about the bills at all, but you may need to budget a bit if your bills are a bit too high with even your normal pay.
If you're receiving multiple bills for the medical expenses, simply take them to your employer or designated workers comp representative. If you've been placed in collections and are dealing with harassing calls, be sure to speak with an attorney to make sure that the system is working properly. You can't do much about this on your own without wasting time that could be spent on recovery.
The main reason to get an attorney is due to what could be going wrong. Your company may not have been paying workers compensation insurance, or the insurance system may not have been handling the wrong paperwork. To get to the bottom of the issue as quickly as possible before your finances are put on hold for months or years at a time, a
Emergency Funds For Bills And Groceries
If you're unable to handle bills during workers compensation, there are ways to get assistance. Especially in states that pay only a percentage of your normal salary, people working near minimum wage or near the local cost of living minimum may not be able to afford any kind of financial cuts.
Some states offer hardship payments or utility and food assistance to relieve financial stress. You will need to fill out a means test that calculates how much your lifestyle costs, what can be changed, and whether you qualify for insurance.
Don't do this on your own. An attorney can help you fill out the right options to maximize your assistance. In addition to hardship payments, disability compensation for conditions that last too long and may be long-term or permanent may need to be considered.
Contact a workers compensation attorney to discuss your options for financial support while recovering from an injury.