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Workers Compensation FAQ’s
Workers Compensation FAQ’s
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Our North Carolina Workers Compensation Law Firm Answers Your Top Questions

Workers’ compensation is a system of benefit payments for people who contract an occupational disease or who are injured by an accident arising out of and in the course of their employment.

Injured workers can receive:

  • temporary total disability checks while they are out under a doctor’s care;
  • medical treatment that is reasonably necessary to effect a cure, provide relief, or lessen the period of disability; and
  • payments for permanent injury based on their impairment rating, impaired wage earning capacity, or total and permanent disability.

To learn more, read our workers’ comp FAQ below, and then contact our North Carolina workers compensation law firm for a free consultation with office locations in Raleigh, Durham, and Wilmington North Carolina.

Must all employers in North Carolina carry workers’ compensation insurance?

All employers who regularly employ three or more workers must carry workers’ compensation insurance in North Carolina.  Some companies self-insure their businesses for workers’ compensation, so you may have to deal directly with the employer rather than an insurance company.

How long will I have to wait before my weekly benefits start?

You must have missed at least seven days before the entitlement to weekly benefit checks begins.  This does not have to be seven consecutive days.  The entitlement to receive medical treatment, however, is not contingent upon missing any time from work.  You may receive medical treatment immediately after being injured.

What payments do I get while I am being treated and out of work?

While you are out of work under a doctor’s care, you are entitled to temporary total disability payments, called TTD payments, and reasonable authorized medical treatment.

Does my employer have to provide me with light duty if my doctor says that I cannot return to my normal job?

Your employer does not have to provide light-duty work merely because you have been hurt on the job.  The federal Americans with Disabilities Act requires that your employer make reasonable accommodation for you to perform work, but this is the extent of its obligation.

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What happens if I return to work and cannot earn the same wages or work the same hours as before?

If an employee returns to work unable to earn the same wages or work the same hours as before the injury, then he or she is entitled to temporary partial disability, also known as the wage differential.  This wage differential is paid at two-thirds (66-2/3 percent) of the difference between the previous average weekly wage and the new rate of pay.  The calculation is done on a week-by-week basis.  There is a maximum of 300 weeks from the date of the accident that a worker can draw a wage differential.

How do my medical bills get paid?

Medical bills are paid by the workers’ compensation insurance company.  These bills must be forwarded to the insurance company by the doctor’s office.  The insurance company then sends the bills to the Industrial Commission to make sure they are reasonable charges.  When the Industrial Commission clears the bills, the insurance company pays the doctor’s office.

If the insurance company refuses to pay medical charges, the injured worker can file a request with the Industrial Commission for a hearing to order that the medical bills be paid.

What if I want to switch doctors?

The injured worker must first ask permission of the insurance company to change doctors.  If the insurance company refuses or does not respond to the request, a petition can be filed with the Industrial Commission requesting an order to allow a change of physician.  Failure to comply with these steps in the proper order can result in the employee having to pay the new doctor.

What questions should I ask a worker’s compensation lawyer?

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