Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Mississippi’s state legislature enacted its first workers’ compensation law in 1948 to help protect vulnerable workers. It guarded them against the inevitable wage loss and medical costs of being injured on the job.
Today, Mississippi’s workers’ compensation laws continue to protect workers from losing their financial stability after a workplace accident. Plus, it helps the state’s employers avoid expensive lawsuits while getting people back to work as quickly as possible. That’s good for employers, employees, and the economy.
If you were hurt while working in Mississippi or developed an illness that’s directly attributable to your work environment, reach out to the workers’ comp lawyers at Lunsford, Baskin & Priebe. We’ll help you understand your options and pursue the full benefits you deserve under Mississippi and federal laws.
Work Comp Benefit Details
- Indemnity Benefits in Mississippi
- Mississippi Permanent Partial Disability Benefits
- Receiving Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits in Mississippi
- Permanent Total Disability Benefits in Mississippi
Workers’ Comp Advantages for Employers and Employees
Before workers’ comp existed, employees were on their own after workplace injuries. They either suffered alone from poor health and wage loss, or they attempted to sue their employers over the injury. Either way, it was a difficult situation for everyone.
Modern Mississippi workers’ compensation laws provide ample advantages to both employers and employees. Here are some of the biggest benefits.
Guaranteed Insurance Payments
Workers’ comp supports good health and financial wellness. When employees are injured on the job or develop occupational diseases as part of their job, they can apply for guaranteed insurance payments to help cover:
- Medical expenses
- Lost earnings
- Costs of ongoing care
- Funeral expenses, as applicable
Not Necessary to Prove Fault
Another advantage is that workers’ compensation insurance is a type of no-fault insurance. This means the employee doesn’t have to prove the employer did anything wrong in order to receive workers’ compensation, which maintains a better relationship between the worker and the workplace.
Freedom From Lawsuits
Under the workers’ comp rules, the business can’t be sued for the workplace illness or injury in question. This frees the employer from worrying about the time and money it takes to handle a lawsuit, plus it incentivizes them to work with the employee to support their rehabilitation.
Why Do You Need a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
With so many advantages to workers’ comp under Mississippi law, you might be wondering why you’ll need a lawyer to help you claim your benefits. Good question! Here’s why.
Mississippi has a workers’ compensation commission along with numerous regulations to help the system work, but the process isn’t always fair and equitable. Workers’ comp can be complex and difficult to understand for the average person.
A historical review of workers’ comp National Institutes of Health found substantial inequities and subjectivity in the system. Employees often need legal assistance to navigate the process and ensure benefits arrive when needed
Also, workers’ comp claims are often delayed or denied due to relatively simple errors, like paperwork problems and employers failing to fulfill their requirements. It sometimes takes the intervention of a lawyer to prevent abuse of the system that employees need so desperately at a vulnerable time in their lives.
The Basics of Mississippi Workers’ Comp Benefits
In the state of Mississippi, every business with five or more employees must offer workers’ compensation insurance to cover workers who are injured on the job. Although smaller businesses can offer it and often do, they’re not required to.
Almost any occupational illness or injury, even minor injuries, are covered as long as they arise directly out of the course of daily business at your job. Deaths are also usually covered.
Workers’ comp can help you stop worrying about your medical bills so you can focus on recovery. It should pay for all costs that are reasonable and necessary to treat your injuries and achieve the highest possible level of rehabilitation.
Covered medical expenses usually include:
- Bills from hospitals and doctors’ visits
- Required in-home nursing services
- Medical supplies like crutches
- Prescription medications
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation services
- Mileage reimbursement for traveling to healthcare services
Workers pursuing workers’ comp are often confused about whether they’ll receive their full wages as part of the compensation package. The short answer is no. Although it’s termed wage replacement, it’s not a full wage replacement.
Mississippi workers’ comp wage replacement benefits usually equal two-thirds of your average weekly wage, subject to a maximum of weekly time limits and wages. It’s possible to earn these benefits while unable to work and still seeing your doctor for extended rehabilitation, or even if you’re found to have partial or total disability. Talk to your lawyer about these options, which are discussed in more detail below.
Temporary Total Disability (TTD)
Temporary total disability benefits are two-thirds of your usual wages paid when you are completely unable to work, but your disability is not expected to be permanent.
Temporary Partial Disability (TPD)
If you’re able to return to work but with restrictions, this is a temporary partial disability. You’re unable to perform the same job duties as before you were injured, but you’re working.
Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)
PPD benefits begin after you’ve already reached the point of maximum medical improvement. These benefits apply when you have a permanent disability, but you’re not completely disabled.
Permanent Total Disability (PTD)
If your injury has caused you to be unable to ever return to any type of reasonable employment for which you are trained by education, training, or experience, PTD benefits may apply depending on your impairment rating.
When someone is killed on the job, workers’ compensation goes to the surviving spouse and dependents. Generally speaking, the spouse receives 35% of the deceased worker’s average salary and each child receives an additional 10%.
These benefits can be difficult to claim in cases of remarriage or the death of the remaining spouse, so speak to a lawyer if you’re in this situation. There could still be payments available up to 450 weeks after the person’s death, plus funeral expenses, which could significantly impact a family’s ability to stay stable after an unexpected death.
How to Claim Mississippi Workers’ Comp Benefits
Were you or your spouse injured at work? Are you suffering from an occupational illness? Act quickly, or you could miss out on the Mississippi workers’ comp benefits you deserve.
For help with a Mississippi workers’ compensation claim or denial, call 601-983-2667 for the workers’ compensation lawyers at Lunsford, Baskin & Priebe PLLC. We’ll offer you a free consultation so you can understand your options under Mississippi law.