People who have never been on workers’ compensation have no idea what it’s like. Our Charlotte workers’ comp attorneys have met with plenty of people who think it’s like being on a long, paid vacation.
Unfortunately, it is nothing like this. Furthermore, for many people, their workers’ comp benefits are much less than what they normally earn.
Nobody Receives Their Regular Wages While on Workers’ Compensation
Despite what you may have been told, while on workers’ compensation, you don’t receive your full pay. In fact, for many people, the amount they receive on workers’ compensation is less than half of what they would normally earn.
This is why it’s critical that you have a Charlotte workers comp attorney by your side. It’s bad enough that you don’t receive your full pay. You don’t want your employer to calculate your benefits incorrectly too.
You’ll Only Receive Two-Thirds of Your Average Weekly Wages
Regardless of what your income is or what kind of injury you suffer, you’ll only receive two-thirds of your normal income. The way this is determined is rather simple.
Your workers’ comp lawyer in Charlotte will perform the following calculations to see what your correct benefit rate should be.
- First, they will add up your wages for the last fifty-two (52) weeks.
- If you haven’t been with the company for a full year, they’ll add up your wages for as long as you’ve been employed.
- Once you have your total, you will divide it by fifty-two (52).
- Whatever number you come up with will be multiplied by .66.
Your benefits will be either the final amount you receive doing the above calculations or $1,254, whichever is lower.
There Is a Limit on How Much You Can Receive Per Week
One other important thing your Charlotte workers comp attorney will explain is that there’s a limit on how much you can receive. It doesn’t matter how much you make, the most you can receive every week in North Carolina is $1,254.
Once you do the math, you’ll find that anybody whose average weekly wages are $1,900 or higher loses money while on workers comp. For example, if you normally make $2,500 per week, you will only receive $1,254.
This is because two-thirds of $2,500 is $1,650. We have already established that the most you can receive is $1,254.
Your Charlotte Workers’ Comp Attorney Knows the Current Cap on Benefits is $1,254 Per Week
One of the first things your workers’ comp lawyer in Charlotte will explain is that the cap on benefits is $1,254 per week. To some, this may sound like a lot of money. However, it really isn’t, especially for people who normally make more than $1,900 per week.
Years ago, $1,254 per week would be a lot of money. However, for a family today that is used to living on $1,900 per week or more, $1,254 is not sufficient.
You may have a problem covering your month-to-month expenses if you end up on workers’ comp for several months.
What Happens if You Make More Than $1,900 Per Week?
If you normally earn much more than $1,900 per week, you will have one of two choices. You can either dip into your savings or you can return to work as soon as humanly possible.
Our Charlotte workers comp attorneys understand how hard it can be to live on significantly less than you normally receive. At least the maximum benefit rate is $1,254. In some other states, like Georgia, the cap is as low as $675. That is little more than half of what it is in North Carolina.
You Cannot Receive More Than the Maximum Amount, Regardless of Your Salary or Income
One of the most frustrating things about going out on workers’ compensation is the income you’ll lose. Unfortunately, there’s nothing your Charlotte workers comp attorney can do to change that.
It doesn’t matter how much you normally earn. It doesn’t even matter how serious your injuries are. For purposes of your temporary disability benefits, the firm cap is $1,254. However, as we will explain next, this income is not taxed. This helps matter substantially.
Your Workers’ Comp Lawyer in Charlotte Will Also Explain That Your Benefits Aren’t Taxed
One of the questions our workers comp lawyers in Charlotte hear a lot is whether our clients’ benefits are taxed. The good news is that they are not taxed. This is true for both state and federal taxes.
When one thinks about it, even if you’re only taxed at a modest rate of 28%, it still makes a significant difference.
For example, imagine that you used to earn $2,000 per week before you got hurt at work. Had you continued to earn this money, it would be taxed at approximately $540. This brings down your net amount to $1,460. If you look at it this way, you’re only losing about $200 per week, not the whole $746.
Your Charlotte Workers’ Comp Attorney Cannot Demand Damages for Personal Injury
You are also limited to the benefits offered under workers’ compensation.
If you were able to sue under personal injury, your Charlotte workers comp attorney would be able to sue for the following types of damages:
- Medical bills and future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost future income
- Lost property (if applicable)
- Pain and suffering
Unfortunately, you aren’t allowed to sue your employer for injuries suffered in a workplace accident. Unless your workers’ comp lawyer in Charlotte can prove that your employer was grossly negligent or reckless, you’ll be limited to collecting workers’ compensation benefits.
It’s a Good Idea to Consult With an Experienced Workers Comp Lawyer in Charlotte
Even if you’re confident that your workers’ compensation claim will be approved, it’s still good to meet with a skilled worker’s comp lawyer in Charlotte. You have no idea what will happen with your claim. For all you know, your claim could be denied.
Even if your claim is approved, there’s no guarantee that your benefits will be calculated properly. This is just one of the reasons why you should have a Charlotte workers comp attorney by your side.
Since we offer all new clients a free, initial consultation, you have nothing to lose by coming into the office. Even if you decide to retain our services, you won’t pay anything until your case is settled.