Nebraska employees who are injured on the job and unable to return to work still need to maintain an acceptable standard of living after their accidents. Workers’ compensation insurance provides wage loss benefits to injured workers so that they continue to receive a source of income throughout the time they remain on disability. However, a worker needs to understand the different types of disability benefits and how they may apply to that worker’s particular situation.
Disability benefits are broken into two main categories: total disability or partial disability. Total disability payments are paid to those who are unable to return to work at all either temporarily or permanently due to an injury. These payments are calculated at two-thirds of an employee’s average weekly wage and are paid for the duration of the time the worker remains on disability as ordered by a physician.
Partial disability payments are further broken down into separate categories. With temporary partial benefits, the worker is able to return to work, but in a limited capacity. This means the worker may not be placed in the same position as before and may not receive the same level of wages. The amount of temporary partial benefits will be calculated as two-thirds of the difference between the worker’s previous wage and current wage, and the worker may receive these payments for up to 300 weeks.
Two other sub-categories under partial disability are permanent partial loss of a member and permanent partial to the body as a whole. As their names suggest, these benefits provide for those who have either lost (as from amputation) a body part or lost the use of a body part or those who have a permanent disability that resulted from the injury. In these cases, the benefit amount is based on two-thirds of a worker’s average weekly salary multiplied by either a statutory schedule that determines the value of the body part lost or as a percentage of the disability from which the worker suffers.
Regardless of the injury a Nebraska worker suffers while on the job, these wage loss benefits are important to help the worker and his or her family maintain some acceptable standard of living. However, filing workers’ compensation claims can be challenging. Anyone injured on the job should consult an experienced workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible after the accident for assistance with the filing process.