How Are Compounded Workers Comp Cases Handled?

Workers compensation claims are normally covered by insurance carried by the employer for legal protection when an employee is injured on the job. Most compensation claims involve injuries that only result in temporary inability to work, but that is not always the case. Injured employees who are unable to work due to a long-term injury can experience problems when the insurance coverage ceases.

Workers compensation insurance only covers applicable medical bills and compensation based on the injured employee’s rate of pay. However, in many states, legislation exists that can qualify a long-term injury as a second injury. A North Carolina workers compensation attorney, for example, can make the case for income replacement payments to continue through the Second Injury Fund.

Dual Purpose

One of the primary purposes of the Second Injury Fund is to allow potential employers to be able to purchase workers compensation insurance for individuals who are partially disabled before employment begins. It is not necessary for any previous disability to have occurred on the job, as those with a partial disability can work in the state with an immunity for the new employer regarding the preceding condition. This establishes limited liability for the company willing to hire a disabled person. States that do not have this provision, or states with only one worker’s compensation insurance company, are left at the decision of the single worker’s compensation insurance company in terms of allowing partially disabled individuals to continue working legally. Additionally, a second injury resulting in an extended disability is handled as a separate claim.

Supplemental Claims and Continuing Employment 

Much like Social Security, individuals who are qualified for supplemental or secondary benefits are generally restricted from gainful employment because the earnings are used to calculate other program benefits. It is essentially a means-based testing and can punish the injured party for attempting to continue working. Partial disabilities always open the possibility of a claim denial because qualification is based on an inability to work, as most disability allowances are based on total disability. This is clearly the position of the Social Security Administration, and many recipients of compounded workers compensation benefits are also eligible for some amount of coverage from the Social Security Administration.

Maintaining Eligibility

Most compound worker’s compensation benefit recipients do not jeopardize their benefit eligibility. The result of returning to work could be dangerous with regard to personal provisions. Additionally, these beneficiaries often have medical coverage associated with the stipend and need to protect that crucial coverage. It is important for all potential or current recipients to understand that they can nullify a continuing claim if they attempt to return to work in the wrong situation.

It is obvious that compounded worker’s compensation claims can be complicated legal issues, and they are not a task for the injured employee to attempt to handle by themselves. Retaining an experienced and effective personal injury and worker’s comp attorney is vital to maximizing any employment insurance coverage. Long-term injuries can easily worsen and returning to work can create unforeseen problems. It is important to always consult with an experienced and effective attorney before making a working decision that can be detrimental to long-term income and any long-term disability eligibility.

Savannah Bobo is a writer and blogger with experience working in jobs with high risk for injury, such as grounds maintenance and restaurant service, and relates this research for anyone faced with possible compounded work injuries. North Carolina workers compensation attorneys Auger & Auger represent accident victims and help them earn rightful compensation, whether you have experienced an isolated incident or have a compounded case.

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