Nevada’s Workers’ Compensation Benefits: What to KnowFiled under General
Nevada state law mandates that all private companies who have one or more employees to purchase workers’ compensation insurance coverage. Generally, workers’ compensation insurance pays for medical expenses, lost wages, as well as temporary and permanent disability suffered by a worker who is injured on the job. There are certain requirements, however, that must be met and followed in order for an employee to protect his or her interests in obtaining these benefits. Below is information that will assist you in understanding whether or not you are eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits, how much and what kind you should expect to receive, and how to file a claim.
Who is Eligible for Nevada’s Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Like other states across the nation, Nevada workers’ compensation pays for injuries suffered on the job whether at the workplace or in the course of employment. In other words, if you are injured while running work-related errands or performing work duties you will likely be covered by workers’ compensation insurance. The types of claims that are typically covered by workers’ compensation benefits include one-time traumatic injuries as well as occupational diseases that may have developed over time.
What to Do if You Are Injured at Work
If you suffer an injury at work, you should immediately notify your employer as well as seek medical treatment. Generally, you must give notice to your employer of a work-related injury within seven days of the accident or injury. When you suffer an occupational disease, the time frame during which to notify your employer begins when it is discovered that the disease was caused due to your employment. Your employer should provide you with the forms necessary to file your claim. It is important to know that if you delay in providing your employer notice of the work-place injury, or fail to give notice whatsoever, your workers’ compensation benefits claim may be denied altogether.
If your workplace injury or illness requires immediate emergency medical care, you may be able to choose which doctor and hospital from which you will receive medical treatment. If your workplace injury or illness does not require emergency medical care, you will need to follow the workers’ compensation guidelines in order to select a treating physician. Nevada provides injured workers less options in choosing medical providers when compared to other states. This is because if your employer has contracted with a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) or a Organization of Managed Care (OMC) you likely must choose a doctor from an approved list provided by your employer. Even if your employer has not contracted with a PPO or OMC, you may only choose a physician from a Nevada-issued list of doctors referred to as the Panel of Treating Physicians & Chiropractors.
Filing a Nevada Workers’ Compensation Claim
When you attend your initial appointment with the workers’ compensation approved physician, you should inform the doctor that your injury or illness is work-related. At this point, the physician should complete all required documentation for your workers’ compensation claim. These are known as a C-4 and are called Employee’s Claim for Compensation/Report of Initial Treatment (C-4 Form).
There are deadlines that must be adhered to that are vital to your Nevada workers’ compensation claim. For example, the completed C-4 Form must be sent to the employer within three days of the initial appointment with the workers’ compensation doctor. Your workers’ compensation benefits claim – which officially begins when the C-4 Form is filed with your employer – must be submitted within 90 days of the work-related injury. Once the C-4 Form is received, the workers’ compensation insurance company, in turn, has 30 days to render an approval or denial of your benefits.
Nevada Workers’ Compensation Benefits You May Receive
If your workers’ compensation benefits claim is approved, you may be entitled to temporary or permanent disability payments in addition to receiving compensation for reasonable medical treatment.
Temporary disability benefits: if you or someone you know becomes temporarily disabled due to a workplace injury or illness and unable to work, temporary disability benefits may be available. Temporary disability payments generally equal two-thirds of the individual’s average monthly wage before they became disabled. The maximum amount payable for temporary disability benefits in Nevada is approximately $3,700.00 per month as of July 1, 2017. The maximum amount is updated annually every July by the state of Nevada. You may continue to receive temporary disability benefits doctor finds the person to have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) – meaning the individual has plateaued and will not improve in the future.
If you have recovered to a point where you are able to return to part-time work or modified work while you recover, you may be eligible to receive temporary partial disability benefits. These benefits are available to workers to ensure they will receive benefits, which are available for a maximum of two years, that are at least equal to what they would have received under temporary total disability. In other words, partial disability benefits will make up the difference between the income the person is receiving from working and what the person would be paid – the two-thirds of their pre-disability earnings – if they were receiving total temporary disability benefits.
Permanent disability benefits: if you are found to be totally and permanently disabled, as long as you remained totally disabled you will receive two-thirds of your average monthly wages as benefits. There are some injuries that are considered permanently disabling, such as amputation of both legs or total blindness. There are other injuries that qualify for total disability, however, the general rule is that the person seeking benefits should not be able to engage in gainful employment.
Partial disability benefits: in order to receive partial disability benefits through Nevada workers’ compensation, the doctor will evaluate your capabilities and assign a percentage between one and 100 percent. Individuals who have suffered workplace injuries after January 1, 2000 will receive 0.06 percent of their average monthly wage for each one percent of impairment. Should you remain disabled under workers’ compensation standards, you may be eligible to receive payments until the age of 70 or for five years if you are injured after the age of 65.
A Nevada Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Help
Suffering a workplace injury can be devastating. Trying to navigate Nevada’s workers’ compensation benefits system by yourself should not be added to this difficult situation. If you or someone you know needs legal guidance in a Nevada workers’ compensation claim, contact the experienced employment attorneys at Paul Padda Law today to schedule your initial case evaluation.