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How workers' compensation payments work in North Carolina

If you suffer a work-related injury, chances are that you will have some questions about workers' compensation. These benefits are available to covered employees who suffer an injury or illness on the job and need medical treatment and to take time away from work.

The way these payments work can be a little more confusing than people expect. To provide some insight into the workers' compensation payment process in this state, let's imagine a generic situation involving a worker who suffers a serious back injury and cannot continue working.

To begin with, this worker will not receive lost wage replacement for the first seven days of his disability, unless his injury lasts for more than 21 days.

After those first seven days, if his claim for compensation is approved, the worker will start receiving regular payments for as long as he is unable to work. In most cases, these checks will be sent on a weekly basis. However, there are times when they may be issued once per month.

The workers' compensation checks the man would receive will not completely replace his wages, though they will be critical in helping him get the medical treatment he needs and care for himself and his family. As noted in state workers' compensation laws, a person will receive 66 2/3 percent of his or her average weekly wage, with a maximum weekly amount that is adjusted annually. In 2015, this maximum was set at $920 per week.

The man would continue to receive these payments until his condition improves and he is able to go back to work.

By having a better idea of what to expect in terms of workers' compensation payments, it may become clear to you why these benefits are so critical in the lives of injured workers. Even though it might not be as much as you had expected, this money can make the difference between getting through a difficult time and getting overwhelmed by it.

Considering all that is on the line when it comes to securing workers' compensation benefits, it can be vital that you consult an attorney familiar with the process if you suffer an on-the-job illness or injury.

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