If you are a worker in North Carolina who has been injured on the job, you may be wondering how long you can receive workers' compensation benefits. Currently, there is a 500-week cap on weekly disability payments, unless the injured worker can demonstrate that she is entitled to extended benefits past 500 weeks. To do this, the injured worker’s attorney needs to file a request for a hearing at the 425-week mark. At hearing, the injured worker must prove that she suffers a total loss of wage-earning capacity. In other words, she must prove she is permanently and totally disabled from all types of employment and unable to earn wages.
Are There Exceptions?
The amount of workers' compensation you receive generally depends on the severity of your injury. Mild to moderate injuries only take a few weeks or months to recover, so you can expect benefits to last until your reach Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) and are able to return to your job. Your doctor will notify you when you reach this point. If you or your attorney disagree, your attorney may seek a second, independent medical opinion with a different doctor.
However, for more severe injuries, like severe TBIs, spinal cord injuries, or amputations, you may be out for a longer period of time and it is possible you qualify for extended benefits if you are not able to work at all. Now, determining disability can be tricky, but don’t worry; we already have a blog that goes over that—you can find it here.
What Does the Workers’ Compensation Timeline Look Like?
In the State of North Carolina, you are required to put your employer on notice no later than 30 days after your date of injury. In addition, you have exactly two years from the date of the injury to file a workers’ compensation claim with the North Carolina Industrial Commission. Missing this 2-year deadline will result in ineligibility for benefits and will bar you from all recovery. We do not recommend waiting when it comes to filing a claim. The sooner you file a claim, the sooner you can expect to receive benefits. A workers’ compensation attorney can work with you to meet the necessary deadlines and ensure you have all the required documentation to go through with your claim.
North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
If you have questions or are ready to file a claim, the Lanier Law Group, P.A. team is here to help. We can sit down with you and go over your situation in depth to provide you with some options on how to proceed with your claim.
To get in touch with one of our attorneys, call our office at (855) 757-4204 or visit our website to get started on a consultation request form.