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5 workers’ compensation facts for factory workers

On Behalf of | Dec 23, 2016 | Workers' Compensation

You work hard at the factory every single day to provide your wife and young children with the things they need and some of the things they want. Living paycheck-to-paycheck isn’t easy but it is the reality of life right now. Suddenly, you get hurt at work. You were being as safe as you could, but the accident happened anyway. Where do you go from here? You can file for workers’ compensation and knowing these points can help you determine what is likely to happen.

Amputation injuries have specific benefits

Factory workers are sometimes at risk of having body parts amputated. These injuries come with specific workers’ compensation benefits. A thumb amputation gets 76 weeks of benefits, but an arm amputation at the shoulder gets 323 weeks of benefits. Interestingly, hearing loss is covered under the amputation benefits. Hearing loss in both ears has a benefit term of 215 weeks, but in a single ear, it is 54 weeks.

The amputation schedule affects some other claims

If some function is lost in an assigned body part, the benefit is factored on a percentage basis. This means that each injury is assigned a percentage of disability. For example, if a hand isn’t functional at all, the disability is 100 percent. If the person has half usage of the hand, it is 50 percent. The person with 50-percent function would be entitled to 50 percent of the benefit that a person with a fully amputated hand would be entitled to.

Benefits are based on the average weekly wage

Each week’s benefit amount is equal to 60 percent of the average weekly wage, which is determined using the 52 weeks’ worth of wages prior to the injury. This means that a person who makes $600 per week on average would be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits of $360 per week.

Settlements are possible but must be approved

It is possible to enter into a settlement regarding the claim. If this occurs, the settlement agreement must be filed with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. The commission gets around 40,000 settlement contracts per year, so it is crucial that your contract is sent in without errors or omissions if it is going to be processed in a timely manner. This means there must be enough copies of it sent and that those copies are exact reproductions of the originals. The contract must be clear, in line with applicable laws, and signed in the appropriate places.

Survivor benefits are available

If a factory worker dies in an accident or because of a work-related injury, the worker’s family is entitled to death benefits. The benefits would go to a spouse and minor children unless those parties aren’t present. Burial benefits in the amount of $8,000 plus monthly payments are possible. These benefits would continue until the child turns 18 or until the spouse gets remarried.