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Understanding Wage Loss Benefits

Many Americans rely heavily on their paychecks to pay the bills and manage everyday living costs. What happens when this source of income is suddenly cut off? Unfortunately, millions of people across the country face this reality each year because they’re injured on the job, or face a work-related illness and can’t return to work.

If you have suffered from an illness or injury because of your job, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits to help you financially. Wage loss benefits are offered through the state workers’ compensation program.

What Are Wage Loss Benefits?Wage Loss Benefits

These benefits are meant to help you replace the income you lose if you’re unable to work due to a work-related illness or injury. The wage loss benefits claim process and compensation amount vary by state. For example, in Pennsylvania,
injured workers can expect to receive compensation that’s equivalent to about two-thirds of their weekly wages before their accident or injury. However, the total amount received will depend on many factors, including other benefits received. There are also limits on how much compensation can be secured through wage loss benefits claims.

Types of Benefits

The type of injury or illness sustained on the job can determine what type of benefits a worker receives. For example, if an employee is permanently disabled, he or she may be entitled to total disability benefits — also known as full disability wage loss benefits. These benefits may be paid out for the rest of an injured workers’ life. If a worker is killed due to a work-related injury, their family may also be able to claim fatal claim benefits for the rest of a dependent’s life. If someone claims full disability wage loss benefits, their situation may be occasionally re-evaluated to determine whether their level of disability or injury has changed.

In cases where an injury is not permanent or in cases where you’re not fully disabled, you may receive partial disability wage loss benefits. These are limited to 500 weeks. After that time, you might find your benefits terminated. You may receive less money with these benefits, especially if you can return to some type of work after your injury or illness.

Temporary total disability (TTD) wage loss benefits are offered in cases where you cannot return to work at all for a certain time after an injury, but you’re expected to return to work at some point. After 104 weeks of being paid TTD wage loss benefits in Pennsylvania, you may be asked to undergo a re-evaluation of your status to determine whether you can return to work.

How to Maximize Wage Loss Benefits

Undervalued wage loss benefits may leave you without enough money to pay for basics or medical care, so it’s essential to fight for the full benefits you may be entitled to. If you’re facing a wage loss benefit dispute — or if you want to dispute a wage loss benefits calculation — contact the law office of Lisa M. Ritacco. Our legal team helps injured workers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey just like you every day.