How Long Do I Have To Be Employed To Qualify For Workers’ Compensation?

Requirements For Length Of Job For Filing Workers’ Comp

There are generally three basic requirements to qualify for workers’ compensation:

  • Your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance;
  • You are a paid employee of the company; and
  • You have a work-related injury.

There is no requirement that you work a minimum amount of time before your workers’ compensation eligibility begins. Employees are generally covered from the first day of employment.

For injuries that keep you from working, you are not eligible for lost wage compensation for the first seven days of your absence from work. However, if your absence from work extends past 21 days, you will receive payment for the first seven days.  In addition to the wage compensation you are also eligible to receive paid medical treatment and pharmaceutical expenses, along with mileage pertaining to your injuries.

Maximum Medical Improvement

When your doctor determines that there are no more treatment options available your injury, he will classify you at maximum medical improvement. This means that medically, there is nothing more than can be done to improve your condition. Instead, the physician will will assign a permanent partial disability number, as laid out by statute. From there, you may be eligible for long term Social Security and disability benefits. It’s important to note that employees who receive Social Security or disability benefits, along with workers’ compensation, may experience a temporary reduction in their Social Security payments.

The Application of Disability

Disability payments may be appropriate if the employee’s injuries necessitate that he or she take time off of work. This would provide the employee with partial compensation for lost wages. Generally it equals about two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly pay.

If the employee is unable to earn the same level of wages after the injury, temporary partial disability may apply. Compensation is granted at a rate of two-thirds the difference between post-injury and pre-injury average weekly pay. This type of disability is only available for 300 weeks from the date of injury.

If the employee’s injuries result in a loss of a body member or the inability to earn similar wages as before injury, a permanent partial disability may prove applicable. For some injuries, the employee will receive a specific benefit amount, regardless of his earning ability.

Permanent disability applies when the employee has lost some ability to compete in the open job market. This generally applies when the employee cannot completely recover from the effects of injury.

Total and permanent disability applies to a loss of both hands, arms legs, or eyes. This designation means that the employee can receive weekly benefits for the duration of her life.

If you have questions about this, contact a Charlotte workers’ compensation lawyer.