When you’re hurt at work in Louisiana, and your doctor says you’re too hurt to keep working, your employer must pay you lost wage benefits—and they must calculate it correctly and pay it promptly.
This income—vital income that keeps you financially afloat after an injury on the job—is one of the most important parts of workers’ compensation benefits in Louisiana. This system is designed to protect workers after accidents at work.
The other major part is coverage for all the medical treatment you need due to your job injury. Your medical care should be paid for starting immediately after your injury.
When it’s clear you’ll have to stay off work, workers’ comp income assistance should kick in.
Here’s the problem: Employers and workers’ comp insurance companies will often delay your pay or try to shortchange you. This may be surprising, but it happens more than you might think.
You can and should push back. But how do you know when you should be receiving lost wages pay and for how much?
Let’s break it down…
When you have to miss work because of your workplace injury, your checks for lost wages should start by two weeks after you filed your workers’ comp claim.
You should get paid for every week that you can’t work thanks to your injury.
These benefits are due on the same day you were usually paid. So if you were paid weekly, your benefits must be paid each week. If you were paid biweekly, then your benefits are owed biweekly. If you were paid monthly, then your benefits are due each month.
The law requires your benefits to be paid on time, and if your benefits are late, you may be entitled to additional compensation.
If your employer or the workers’ comp insurance company are dragging this out or failing to pay you consistently, a Louisiana workers’ compensation attorney can help you get what you’re owed.
After all, most jobs in Louisiana are covered by workers’ comp, and when you need it, you are entitled to it.
The amount of benefits you receive will be two-thirds of your average weekly wage.
Your average weekly wage is based on what you were making at the time you were hurt.
This calculation is largely based on your pay rate, although there are several other factors involved, including:
Every worker’s situation is different.
Here are three examples:
Example No. 1: Joe is a plumber. He’s a full-time hourly worker earning $20 per hour. When Joe is injured at work, his average weekly wage will be calculated using the hours he worked in the four weeks before his work accident.
Example No. 2: Mary is a teacher who is a salaried employee. For Mary, her benefits will be based on her annual salary instead of what she made in the four weeks before her accident.
Example No. 3: Tom is a waiter paid solely on tips. Tom’s wages are based on his tips earned in the 26 weeks before his accident.
Some employees have a combination of calculations. For example, a waiter who is paid both hourly and receives tips would have his benefits calculated using both the hourly wages earned in the four weeks before the accident and the tips received in the 26 weeks before the accident.
Many times, the insurance company will miscalculate your benefits—and underpay you.
If this happens, and if the insurance company fails to correct it quickly, they may have to pay a penalty in addition to the past-due amounts you are owed.
If you work with an experienced workers’ comp lawyer to fix this problem, the insurance company may also have to pay your attorney’s fees.
Talk to one of the lawyers at Workers’ Compensation, LLC, if you feel your checks aren’t arriving like they should, or your benefits are lower than they should be
We will make sure you’re receiving the maximum amount you’re entitled to under law—so you can start to move forward in your life after your job injury.
We’ve helped thousands of people in Louisiana secure millions in benefits and settlements.