If you work in Mississippi and are injured or become ill as a result of your job, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Only an experienced Mississippi workers’ compensation attorney can evaluate the unique facts and circumstances of your case and provide specific advice regarding your eligibility for benefits. However, the following brief overview of the Mississippi workers’ compensation system may be helpful if you have suffered a job-related injury or illness.
The Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission administers claims in Mississippi. The state requires most employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage on all employers. There are exceptions to this general rule, and a workers’ compensation attorney can help you determine whether any of the exceptions apply to you. But if you are a covered worker, benefits potentially are available for you.
Benefits are divided into two broad categories: medical and disability. Medical benefits cover the costs associated with treating your injury or illness up to the point where you reach maximum medical improvement. Medical benefits may also cover rehabilitation services, travel and other expenses related to your medical treatment.
Disability benefits help cover your lost wages during the time you are unable to work as a result of your injury or illness. There is a five-day waiting period before wage loss benefits are paid. You will receive benefits for this waiting period if you ultimately are out of work for more than 14 days.
You could be entitled to any of the following types of disability benefits:
The amount of your weekly disability payment will be determined by your earnings prior to the accident or illness. All disability payments are based on your average weekly wage, or AWW. Your average weekly wage is calculated by taking your total earnings for the previous 52 weeks and dividing the total by 52 and then multiplying that figure by two-thirds. The result is your disability payment amount, assuming you are totally disabled.
Special rules for calculating your AWW apply if you did not work for your employer for the full 52-week period or if you missed more than seven days of work in the past year. Partial disability payments are calculated by making the appropriate adjustment to your AWW.
The maximum allowable total disability payment amount, regardless of your AWW, for 2014 is $454.42.
Though the Mississippi workers’ compensation system is intended to provide much-needed benefits to injured or ill workers, the system can be difficult to navigate. If you believe that you qualify for benefits, contact an experienced Mississippi workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible to discuss your claim.
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