I’m on short-term disability: should I switch to workers’ comp?


Types of Disability When You’re Hurt And Can’t Work in DC

Sometimes the world of employment law and the world of workers’ compensation law get confused, and it doesn’t help that employers (meaning, your human resources department) like to tell you that rather than filing a workers’ compensation claim you should use your 1) sick leave; 2) FMLA leave; 3) PTO; 4): short-term disability and/or a combination of all of the above.

Why? Well, I’m so glad you asked.

Why do you think your employer might be hesitant to open a workers’ comp claim? Because workers’ comp is the only insurance and/or system out of those four options that are paid for 100% by the employer (through their worker’s compensation insurance). No co-insurances, monthly check deductions, or “time banks.” Workers’ compensation insurance is required by law for anyone with three or more employees and employees don’t pay into it.

This is what makes it different from say, short-term disability (which the employee usually pays into themselves through paycheck deductions). Or sick leave, FMLA leave, or PTO (which all end at some point when you’ve used up your bank or expired your federal time limit).

And many of those have exclusions for injuries that happen at work.

We hear all the time from clients “My employer said that I had to use my sick leave” or “I’ve been out on FMLA.” If you were injured while working, this should absolutely not be the case. But because most workers don’t know their rights they follow the instructions their company gives them. After all, they will take care of you, right?

Nope. Probably not.

We have also heard stories about how the worker was convinced the employer would take care of him, they have been working for them for 25 years, etc, etc. And your boss, your supervisor, and even the owner of your company may want to do just that.

We hate to be the bearers of bad news but once you are injured at work, your employer is essentially turning you over to the insurance company and their entire team of nurses, doctors, attorneys, and claim administrators all trained to limit your benefits.

So, if you are on one of those other types of insurance, can you switch to workers’ comp?

It all depends. If you have been on FMLA or Disability for a long time, you may have issues with bringing a workers’ compensation case. One of the critical parts of a workers’ comp claim in Washington, DC is that you have to have your treating physician connect the injury to your work, and another critical part is that you have to give timely notice to your employer of a work injury.

Do you want more information on how this works?

Call us today at 202-393-3320 and you will speak with a real person who wants to hear your story. Do that, and order a copy of our free book on workers’ compensation that will give you the A-Z on workers’ compensation in Washington, DC so you can learn about the process before you make case-ending mistakes.

What Are the Different Types of Benefits Available To Injured Workers in DC?

We get a lot of questions from clients asking about the difference between temporary partial and temporary total disability. We are here to help our clients, and by giving our clients information, we are keeping them informed– which in the end helps them in the long run.

As in most states, an injured worker can receive benefits to replace his or her lost income, as well as medical treatment and expenses. Within those broad categories, there are a number of specific benefits an injured worker may be entitled to, depending on the nature of his or her injury. Workers’ compensation benefits are not taxable.

Temporary Total Disability:

While an injured worker cannot return to his or her regular employment because of an on-the-job injury, he or she is entitled to temporary total disability benefits. These benefits are 2/3 of the injured worker’s average weekly wage. For example, a worker with an average weekly wage of $900 would be entitled to weekly payments in the amount of $600 as a temporary total disability benefit while he or she could not work.

Temporary Partial Disability:

If an injured worker can return to light duty or limited duty employment and is able to earn some income, he or she would be entitled to temporary partial disability benefits, based on the difference between the pre-injury average weekly wage and post-injury earnings. In the District of Columbia, TPD benefits are 2/3 of the difference between the worker’s average weekly wage and the new income and are calculated weekly. For example, an injured worker with an average weekly wage of $900 who can return to work in a light-duty job earning $600 will be entitled to temporary partial disability benefits in the amount of $200 ($900-$600=$300 x 2/3=$200).

Need Help Now? Contact our Workers Compensation Lawyers Today at 202-393-3320

Hopefully, the above information will be helpful to you and our clients. If you are seeking more information on this information on topic do not hesitate to give us a call at (202) 393-3200. The call is free and confidential. We have written resources to help clients, as well as others on these issues. Stop by our resource page to download and request your free copies.

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    Mr. Kearney and Mr. Donahoe were excellent attorneys. They were very caring toward my son and myself. They always explained everything in detail and kept in touch with us, updating us about the case. Whenever we would call or needed a question answered, Mr. Kearney or his assistant was always there to help. My son and I are very happy and satisfied with the outcome of the case. Mr. Kearney and Mr. Donahoe were the best and I would highly recommend them to other people.

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  • Story Of Success

    After A Successful Settlement, a Severely Injured Young Man Now Has the Resources to Live Independently

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    Mr. Kearney and Mr. Donahoe were excellent attorneys. They were very caring toward my son and myself. They always explained everything in detail and kept in touch with us, updating us about the case. Whenever we would call or needed a question answered, Mr. Kearney or his assistant was always there to help. My son and I are very happy and satisfied with the outcome of the case. Mr. Kearney and Mr. Donahoe were the best and I would highly recommend them to other people.

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  • Story Of Success

    After A Successful Settlement, a Severely Injured Young Man Now Has the Resources to Live Independently

    Rated 5 out of 5
    July 26, 2022

    Mr. Kearney and Mr. Donahoe were excellent attorneys. They were very caring toward my son and myself. They always explained everything in detail and kept in touch with us, updating us about the case. Whenever we would call or needed a question answered, Mr. Kearney or his assistant was always there to help. My son and I are very happy and satisfied with the outcome of the case. Mr. Kearney and Mr. Donahoe were the best and I would highly recommend them to other people.

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