Common Questions About Workers’ Compensation
You may think that you know a lot about workers’ compensation. Many people do, even if they aren’t workers’ compensation attorneys. But there are still things to learn, and things that you may not have known about workers’ compensation. Here are some of the more common things that people ask their attorney about workers’ compensation benefits.
Are Workers’ Compensation Benefits Taxable?
It seems like we pay tax on almost anything. It would also seem to be logical to pay taxes on workers’ compensation benefits. After all, workers’ compensation is either paying our medical expenses, or making up for lost wages and in either event, the funds seem a lot like income.
However, you’ll be happy to learn that in fact, workers’ compensation money and benefits are not taxed or taxable. There is one exception however: Workers’ compensation does allow you to try to go back to work in a modified role—for example, going back to work and doing a job that you can do, given your injuries.
If you choose to do that, you will pay taxes on whatever you earn, just as you would with any other kind of income you receive for work performed.
Can My Workers’ Compensation Doctor Charge Me Copays?
No, your workers’ compensation doctors or medical providers cannot charge you co-pays. The entirety of your medical treatment is covered by your workers’ compensation insurance.
What About Non-Medical Expenses?
When you are injured in an accident, you may have medically-related expenses that are not direct medical bills. For example, you may need medical devices, or additional transportation expenses.
Workers’ compensation pays all your medical expenses—not just your direct medical bills.
It will not cover things like pain and suffering, emotional trauma, or other such damages, often called non-economic damages. But as a general rule, as long as your damages are “countable,” that is, they have a definite price tag or expense, they are economic, and can be paid by your workers’ compensation.
To Get Workers’ Compensation, Do I Need to File a Lawsuit?
No—in many cases, your workers’ compensation pays what it is supposed to, and there is no dispute. It is only when there is a problem that a lawsuit needs to be filed.
Common problems arise when your workers’ compensation insurance company doesn’t pay for a procedure that you may need to heal, or declares you healed—and thus, not in need of further medical treatment and able to go back to work—sooner than you are actually healed.
Can I Get Workers’ Compensation if the Accident Was My Fault?
Yes—workers’ compensation does not look for fault. So long as you were injured while on the job, you are entitled to benefits. Many employers, purposely or not, will try to “blame” a worker for his or her injuries. But blame does not affect your right to get the benefits you deserve if you are injured at work.
The Tampa workers’ compensation attorneys at Barbas, Nuñez, Sanders, Butler & Hovsepian can help you if you or a loved one are injured at work. Schedule a consultation today.