Close Menu
Jackson & New Orleans Workers' Compensation Lawyer
  • Free Consultation
  • Hablamos Español
  • No Recovery No Fee
Workers' Compensation / Workers’ Compensation / Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Louisiana & Mississippi

In some form or other, workers’ compensation has been around for thousands of years: even as long ago as 2050 B.C., the Law of Ur compensated workers for specific injuries to their body parts, including fractures. In the United States, workers’ compensation (originally called workmen’s compensation) became the law of the land by 1948, when Mississippi, the final state, enacted a WC law. With the exception of Texas, where it is optional, all states mandate some kind of workers’ compensation.

Workers’ comp offers advantages to both employers and employees:

#1 – Employees who are injured on the job or who develop occupational diseases as part of their job are guaranteed insurance payments to help cover:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Ongoing care costs
  • Funeral expenses

Another advantage for the employee is that workers’ compensation insurance is no-fault. It is not necessary to prove that the employer did anything wrong in order to receive needed expenses.

#2 – The advantage for employers is the fact that their businesses can’t be sued for any of these costs. In addition, the system incentivizes the rehabilitation of injured workers.

Although states have workers’ compensation commissions and multiple regulations and guidelines to make the process equitable, even the National Institute of Health admits that there is still enough subjectivity in the process to necessitate personal injury lawyers to advocate for employees.

It is important to remember that when workers’ comp claims are denied or delayed, the workers who hire attorneys are not going up against their bosses, managers, or even the owners of their companies: they are fighting the insurance companies who underwrite the workers’ compensation insurance policies. And the insurance companies are guarding their profits by protecting the bottom line.

Mississippi Benefits

In Mississippi, every business with 5 or more employees is required to offer workers’ compensation insurance to cover workers who are injured on the job. Smaller businesses can also provide coverage, although they are not required to. Any injury, however slight or serious, is covered if it arises out of the course and scope of employment. As long as they are work-related, occupational illnesses and diseases, as well as deaths,  are also covered.

Medical expenses:

Workers’ comp should pay for all costs that are reasonable and necessary to treat injury and achieve maximum cure. These expenses include:

  • Doctor and hospital bills
  • Nursing services
  • Medical supplies (defined as “crutches or any other apparatus or medical service which is necessary”)
  • Prescriptions
  • Physical therapy
  • Rehabilitation services
  • Mileage reimbursement for your travel to and from your medical visits

Each year the Mississippi WCC (Workers’ Compensation Commission) sets a fee schedule for all of the benefits outlined above. It is not available online but can be ordered here. Read more information about Mississippi Workers’ Compensation and Medical Bill Payment.

Wage replacement:

Wage loss benefits equal 2/3 of your average weekly wage, subject to a maximum weekly amount and time limits. You can earn these temporary disability payments while you are under the continuing care of a doctor and unable to work or make your full pay. In total, you can receive up to the maximum weekly amount times 450. In 2019, the weekly maximum was $494.48, which comes out to a lifetime disability maximum of $222,516. You can read about this in more detail in our blog, The Wage Replacement Benefit in a Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Claim.

Once you have reached maximum cure or improvement, either your benefits will terminate, or you may be considered permanently disabled. For permanent disability, you can receive wage replacement benefits for up to 450 weeks. For permanent partial disability, such as the loss of a body part, you’ll be paid a certain amount for a specific number of weeks according to a schedule established by the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission in Jackson. These levels of disability are decided with the use of an impairment rating.

Temporary Total Disability (TTD): These benefits are paid when you are completely unable to work, but your disability is not expected to be permanent. It is paid at ⅔ of your average weekly wage.

Temporary Partial Disability (TPD): These benefits are paid when you are able to return to work but with restrictions, so you are unable to perform the same job duties as before you were injured, at least for a time.

Permanent Partial Disability (PPD): These are benefits that are paid after you have reached maximum medical improvement. You have a disability, and it is permanent, but you are not totally disabled. This category is broken down further into scheduled, which assigns a value to the loss of specific body parts,  and unscheduled (whole body), which involves back, head, or heart type disabilities.

Permanent Total Disability (PTD): PTD is payable when you are unable, because of your injury, to return to any reasonable employment for which you are trained by education, training, or experience.

You can read more about this in detail in our blog, Impairment Ratings in Mississippi Workers’ Compensation.

Death Benefit:

  • If an employee dies as a result of a job-related injury, the Workers’ Compensation law pays certain amounts of money to the surviving spouse and certain surviving dependents.
  • The spouse will receive 35% of the decedent’s average salary.
  • Each dependent child will receive an additional 10%
  • There are detailed provisions in cases of remarriage or the death of the remaining spouse in Mississippi Code 71-3-25.
  • These payments occur at least every 14 days and can last up to 450 weeks after death.
  • Other payments include an immediate payment of $1,000 to the surviving spouse
  • Reasonable funeral expenses not exceeding $5,000.00 exclusive of other burial insurance or benefits.

For help with a Mississippi workers’ compensation claim, call the Jackson workers’ compensation lawyers at Lunsford, Baskin & Priebe PLLC in Jackson for a free consultation at 601-203-4552.

Louisiana Benefits

In Louisiana, all employers must offer employees workers’ compensation, and most workers are covered from the day they begin work. Louisiana workers’ compensation covers any traumatic injury or occupational illness that occurs in the course of employment. Workers are entitled to medical care for the injury, indemnity wage benefits, vocational rehabilitation services, and/or death benefits.

Medical Expenses:

Workers’ comp should pay for all costs that are reasonable and necessary to treat injury and achieve maximum cure. These expenses include:

  • Doctor and hospital bills (including emergency room)
  • Nursing services
  • Medical supplies
  • Prescriptions
  • Physical therapy
  • Rehabilitation services
  • Mileage reimbursement for your travel to and from your medical visits

The Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Medical Reimbursement Schedule is available here.

Wage Replacement:

Temporary Total Disability (TTD): These benefits are paid when you are completely unable to work, but your disability is not expected to be permanent.

If you can’t work as a result of your injury or job-related illness, you will receive ⅔ of your weekly wages, up to the state maximum of determined by your date of injury.

Supplemental Earnings Benefits  (SEB): These benefits are paid when you are able to return to work but with restrictions, so you are unable to perform the same job duties as before you were injured, at least for a time.

When you return to work, you may be assigned:

  • Light duty: This gives you a job that is less physically demanding until your physical restrictions are lifted.
  • Modified duty: This option returns you to the same job, but it is modified in order to make it safe and achievable for you.
  • Work hardening: This is when you return to work part-time and work your way up to regular hours as you recover completely.
  • If you can only work part-time or at a different duty that pays less than 90% of your pre-injury rate, you are entitled to supplemental earning benefits for up to 520 weeks.

Permanent Partial Disability (PPD): These are benefits that are paid after you have reached maximum medical improvement. You have a disability, and it is permanent, but you are not totally disabled. This category is broken down further into scheduled, which assigns a value to the loss of specific body parts,  and unscheduled, which includes serious disfigurement, hearing loss, or serious impairment to the functions of your respiratory, gastrointestinal, or genito-urinary systems.

Permanent Total Disability (PTD): PTD is payable when your injury is so severe that you are unable to work again. It is paid at a rate of ⅔ of your average weekly wage pre-injury.

Catastrophic Injury Benefits: Some workers may receive a lump sum of up to $50,000 for certain catastrophic injuries, such as:

  • Paraplegia
  • Quadriplegia
  • Amputation of the hands, feet, arms, or legs
  • Physical loss of the eyes
  • Third-degree burns over 40% of the body

Vocational Benefits:

  • If you are not able to earn the same amount of wages as before as a result of your accident, you are entitled to prompt vocational services.
  • If, as a result of your injury, you are not able to perform the job you had before the accident, you are entitled to reasonable and proper retraining for a period of up to 26 weeks.

Death Benefits:

  • If the employee dies within two years of the last treatment as the result of any job-related accident, his or her surviving spouse and/or dependent child(ren) (or other dependents) may be entitled to weekly indemnity benefits pursuant to the Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Act.
  • If there are no surviving dependents, the employee’s older children (or surviving parents, if there are no children) are entitled to a one-time benefit of $75,000.
  • The employer or its workers’ compensation insurer shall also pay, in addition to any other benefits, reasonable expenses of the burial of the employee, not to exceed $8,500.

For help with a Louisiana workers’ compensation claim or denial, call the New Orleans workers’ compensation lawyers of Lunsford, Baskin & Priebe PLLC for a free consultation at 504-302-4131.

Share This Page:
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
X
Free Case Evaluation
protected by reCAPTCHA Privacy - Terms