Loss of Other Benefits While You Are Unable to Work
Lost wages are one of the most significant hardships facing those who have been hurt on the job. Unfortunately, there are also a number of other financial challenges associated with work-related injuries, such as mounting medical bills and a dwindling retirement or savings account. While worker’s compensation insurance does offer injured workers the opportunity to recompense some of their lost wages, employees who are unable to work may be forced to sacrifice other key benefits.
Though worker’s compensation insurance may cover the medical expenses that are directly related to the work injury, some employers may discontinue the injured employee’s health insurance coverage. This is primarily due to the fact that injured worker benefit requirements vary by state. For example, one state may deem it illegal to discontinue an employee’s health insurance when they suffer a work-related injury, while another might not have any mention of benefits in the statute. In certain situations, the employee may be required to pay a small portion of the monthly premium, which is often referred to as the “Employee Contribution,” to receive their benefits. This entitles them to their original health care coverage while they are injured and unable to work.
Matching Pension Contributions
Missing work due to a serious injury may prevent an employee from receiving their retirement fund contributions. If they are out of work for an extended period of time, this can significantly impact their retirement goals and force them to stay in the workplace for longer than expected. Otherwise, they may face the challenge of retiring with depleted funds.
Medical Insurance Alternatives for Injured Workers
If a worker is no longer eligible for health insurance coverage through their employer, they may be able to sign up for COBRA or enact their FMLA rights. This can allow them to receive health insurance for themselves and/or their families. The FMLA may grant them full healthcare coverage for a specific amount of time, which is covered by the employer. The COBRA coverage, on the other hand, requires that the employee pay out-of-pocket for their medical insurance benefits.
Receiving a portion of their original wages may lighten the burden of being unable to work, but loss of other benefits can put a great deal of strain and stress on injured workers and their loved ones. Employees who have been injured on the job can seek the assistance of a qualified legal professional to see if they may qualify for additional benefits.