Workers Compensation in NC: How Long Are You Covered For?

Every week, we get a call from a new client who is afraid their workers compensation benefits are going to end any day. They aren’t ready to go back to work and have no idea how they’ll pay the bills. What we try to do is offer them some additional reassurance. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that your benefits will end one day. You can’t stay home collecting benefits forever. However, you may not be sure exactly when and how this will happen. That’s when you know it’s time to call one of our employment lawyers in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Our injury lawyers in Charlotte, North Carolina are very familiar with the local workers compensation laws. Believe it or not, North Carolina is one of the more generous states when it comes to workers compensation. Of course, you’re only concerned about your case and your benefits. Our employment lawyers in Charlotte, North Carolina can go over your claim and let you know what will happen next. It all depends on what stage of the workers comp process you’re currently in. Either way, we can explain how your benefits will end and, hopefully, put your mind at ease. Once your injuries are fully healed, you’ll go back to work and put your workers compensation claim behind you.  Ideally, you’ll return to your old job with the same company. If not, that is between you and your employer. For now, let’s focus on the benefits you’re receiving and when they may end.

Contact our office today if you’re interested in scheduling your free, initial consultation.

North Carolina Has One of the Longest Benefits Periods

Unlike some other states that only offer you benefits for one or two years, North Carolina is much more generous. In North Carolina, you’re allowed to collect workers compensation benefits for up to 500 weeks. This is just shy of 10 years. Of course, very few people ever reach that point. Most people are either fully healed and return to work within a few months or end up permanently disabled and settle their case.

It’s hard for our employment lawyers in Charlotte, North Carolina to even think of a situation in which a client would collect benefits for that long. Not only would the insurance company be eager to settle a case like that, but one would imagine that the employee would as well. Since you only collect 2/3 of your average weekly wages while you’re at home on workers compensation, it makes sense that you’d want to return to work full time and earn your full salary.

There is a Limit to How Much You Can Receive Per Week

Like most other states, North Carolina does limit the amount you can receive in benefits every week. Regardless of what your average weekly wages are, you cannot collect more than $1,184 per week on workers comp. This means that people who make closer to $2,000 per week lose an awful lot of money when they go out on workers comp.

It is important to point out however, the North Carolina is much friendlier to injured employees than some other states. For example, the maximum weekly benefit amount in Georgia is only $675. It’s hard to imagine anybody living on that for a few weeks let alone a few years.

Your Benefits Will Terminate in One of 3 Ways

Essentially, your workers compensation benefits can terminate in one of three ways. First, you may fully recover from injuries and go back to work. It typically depends on the type of injury you suffered and how severe it was. Once the workers compensation doctor determines that you’ve reached maximum medical improvement, you will be expected to return to work full-time.

The second way your benefits can terminate is if you actually exhaust the 500 weeks allowed. Again, in all the years that our firm has practiced workers compensation law, very few of our clients have ever gotten to this point.

Finally, your benefits will terminate if your employment lawyer in Charlotte, North Carolina settles your case.

Your Injury Lawyer in Charlotte, North Carolina Will Try to Settle Your Case

If you learn that you have suffered a total or partial disability of a certain body part, your injury lawyer in Charlotte, North Carolina will try to settle your case. For example, if you suffered a back injury and the doctor determines that you have a 30% permanent disability in your back, it makes no sense to continue to collect benefits.

Your employment lawyer in Charlotte, North Carolina will consult that state’s workers compensation schedule to see what monies this disability warrants. The way the schedule works is that each body part is assigned a certain number of weeks for a total, permanent disability. Based on your percentage of disability, your attorney will try to negotiate a fair settlement of your claim.

Reach Out to One of Our Employment Lawyers in Charlotte, North Carolina

If you’ve been on workers compensation for a while and are wondering when your benefits will end, you’re not alone. A lot of our clients worry about the same thing. As explained here, your benefits can end in any number of ways. Ideally, this will happen because you’re fully healed and are ready to go back to work. Perhaps you end up with a permanent disability and your employment lawyer in Charlotte, North Carolina will work out a settlement on your behalf.

Regardless of the way your benefits end, you should be prepared for it. Even though you can technically receive benefits in North Carolina for 500 weeks, it is rare that a case stays open for that long. Our injury lawyers in Charlotte, North Carolina have decades of combined experience and it is very rare that a client of ours collects workers comp benefits for almost ten years. Most of the time, they settle much sooner than that.

If you’re collecting workers compensation benefits and have questions about how your case will end, call our office. We recommend that you call and schedule your free, initial consultation as soon as possible after your workplace accident. The sooner you retain an attorney, the sooner they can review your claim and work toward a settlement. Since your initial consultation is free, you don’t have anything to lose.