Workers’ Compensation Reforms Limit Access to Cash Award Benefits

March 31, 2015

Where do you live? Depending upon how you answer, you could face a real struggle to qualify for the third arm of Workers’ Compensation benefits – the cash award.

When an employee is hurt on the job, they are entitled to file for benefits and receive medical treatment, replacement pay and, depending on the extent of their injuries, a cash award. The amount of the cash award is based on which body part(s) were affected in the accident and to what extent the employee has use of those body parts.

An NPR report earlier this month brought to light gross inconsistencies in laws from state to state regarding how much compensation is attached to those cash awards. In fact, over the past 12 years, there have been reforms in over 30 states that further limit or restrict access to Workers’ Compensation cash awards. Some examples:

  • In Alabama, the most you can get if you lose an eye on the job, yes, an eye, is $27,000.
  • Meanwhile Pennsylvania offers a maximum payout of $261,000 for that same injury.
  • Again in Alabama, maximum lifetime payout for losing an arm is $48,000.
  • In Georgia, it’s nearly $800,000. Imagine your insurance company and your employer determining whether or not you need an operation.

Like it or not, businesses and insurance providers are getting more and more authority to rule on medical issues. This is because part of the “medical treatment” portion of Workers’ Comp allows the insurance company to choose the doctor you can go to. Be aware aware, however, that you are allowed to get a second opinion. If your employer’s insurance company is balking at your request for the type of treatment you feel you need, talk to a committed and experienced Workers’ Comp attorney so you can get the benefits you rightly deserve.

Get the counsel and representation you need from a qualified Workers’ Compensation attorney. Sheffet and Dvorin will fight to get you the justice and compensation that’s owed to you. We have years of experience helping our clients seek the maximum damage so they can pay their bills and bounce back from work-related injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation.


Sheffet & Dvorin, PC