1. YOUR BENEFITS WILL CONTINUE BASED UPON YOUR DEGREE OF LOSS OF WAGE EARNING CAPACITY [“LWEC”]. The carrier should continue to pay your lost income benefit at the same interval as they did before the LWEC award. Unless you return to work, your benefit rate should stay the same. If you were injured (or had an occupational disease) on or after 03/13/07, you may NOT be entitled to collect lost income benefits for the rest of your life.
2. NOTIFY US BEFORE YOU RETURN TO ANY WORK THAT PAYS MONEY TO YOU.
3. YOU CAN RECEIVE MEDICAL TREATMENT IF YOU NEED IT. You are entitled to medical treatment for your injury for the rest of your life IF it is consistent with the Medical Treatment Guidelines AND you did not suffer a new injury to the same body part(s). The carrier can object to such treatment; we can have the Judge decide any disputes. You are no longer required to see a doctor every 90 days to keep receiving lost income benefits. DO NOT go for treatment if you do not need it. Submit all requests for mileage and transportation reimbursement for medical treatment directly to the carrier. We do not need to be involved with this going forward.
4. IF YOUR CONDITION WORSENS, YOU MAY BE ENTITLED TO A GREATER DEGREE OF LWEC. Be sure to go back to your doctor for treatment if your condition worsens. When you are medically stable again, you may be entitled to a greater degree of LWEC award.
5. WATCH OUT FOR THE 18 & 8 RULE. IF YOU STOP COLLECTING LOST INCOME BENEFITS, OR IF YOU COLLECT ALL WEEKS OF LOST INCOME BENEFITS THAT YOU ARE ENTITLED TO COLLECT, YOU WILL NOT BE ENTITLED TO ANY FURTHER LOST INCOME BENEFITS IF IT IS MORE THAN 18 YEARS AFTER THE DATE YOU WERE INJURED AND MORE THAN 8 YEARS FROM WHEN YOU LAST COLLECTED LOST INCOME BENEFITS.
6. YOU STILL NEED TO LOOK FOR WORK WITHIN YOUR RESTRICTIONS. Unless you are totally and permanently disabled per Workers’ Compensation standards, or unless the carrier has agreed that you need not look for work, you MUST look for work within your restrictions. You should follow the instructions that we provided to you previously.
7. YOU MAY BE ABLE TO SETTLE YOUR CASE. Some of our clients want to receive a lump sum of money in exchange for giving up some or all of their future rights to collect Workers’ Compensation benefits. These “Section 32” settlements are complicated and should be considered carefully. Please contact us if you are interested in pursuing a Section 32 settlement.