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3 things teens should know about workers' compensation

Even young adults get hurt on the job, and as a teen who is just entering the workforce, this might seem like an extreme setback. Fortunately, your employer should have workers' compensation, which covers your medical expenses and other financial losses that are a result of your injury on the job. You can seek workers' compensation no matter how old you are or how long you've worked at your job.

You probably have many questions about workers' compensation as someone new to the workforce. These are three common questions workers have about workers' compensation.

1. What is workers' compensation indemnity?

Workers' compensation indemnity is insurance that compensates you for lost wages and other financial needs that are a result of your injuries. Indemnity payments made to you vary from those that cover a portion of your lost wages to payments for medical services you received. Usually, medical coverage is paid directly by the workers' compensation insurance provider, so you never have to worry about the bills or costs associated with that.

When you go to the first visit for medical care, make sure to tell the doctor or provider that you are there for a workplace injury. The doctor's office or hospital has information on the paperwork you'll need to provide to your employer.

2. Will you receive any of your pay for the days you missed?

If you only miss one or two days of work due to an injury, you don't receive compensation. However, once you miss a week of work, seven days, you'll begin to qualify for indemnity payments to cover those losses. In Louisiana, you're entitled to sixty-six and two-thirds percent of your average monthly wages or the maximum payout allowed by law.

3. What happens if you're disabled and unable to return to work?

When you can't return to work, you may continue to receive workers' compensation. You're qualified for Temporary Total Disability, and then, if you cannot return to work within a year, you qualify for permanent disability benefits. If you do return to work but can't exceed 90 percent of your pre-injury wages, then you may qualify for supplemental earnings benefits, or SEB. This is payable to you for 520 weeks including the time for whic h you were paid indemnity benefits.

Workers' compensation claims are sometimes complicated, but there is legal help for individuals who have been hurt on the job. With the right support, you can make a claim for workers' compensation and receive every benefit you're entitled to.

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