How much do I get when out on workers comp? I hear this question frequently asked. The answer is: enough to help and make a difference, but not enough to pay the bills.
The law in Connecticut is that you receive 75% of your weekly net income. There are nuances to this that involve maximums, minimums and prevailing wages in your industry, but as a general rule, the injured worker missing work receives 75% of his or her weekly net income.
Unfortunately, when you are hurt on the job and out of work, your bills do not normally decrease by 25% each week, so what happens is that the workers’ compensation wage benefit helps a lot, but it is not enough to pay the bills. You immediately fall into a hole.
Some will argue the genuine public policy benefit of giving incentive to injured people to get back to work asap. Others recognize the more insidious side of this as guaranteeing that if you have a genuine work-related injury that keeps you out of work, the workers’ compensation laws that are supposed to take care of you pretty much guarantee that you and your family will face serious financial hardship and immediately fall behind in paying the bills.
And that is when the workers’ compensation system is working correctly and paying you. Woe to the injured worker who has to fight just to get paid anything in the first place.
Simply remember that the person you know who is out of work on workers’ compensation is NOT living on easy street. The benefits help, but the people are living a life of serious financial hardship during this process. Show some understanding and compassion for the reality that the “benefits” they may be receiving are not even enough to pay their bills. Those benefits help, and they’re better than nothing, but make no mistake that it’s a genuine hardship.
That’s why it’s always especially important for an injured person to consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to ensure that, if nothing else, they at least receive those benefits which may be available and have an attorney who will fight for them.