Can You Use PTO While on Workers' Compensation? Here's What You Should Know
On occasions, people wonder if they can use PTO when they file a workers' comp claim or start getting its benefits. This guide offers the information any client should know about this, including why it's so important to get expert help.
Why People Should Use Their PTO While on Workers' Compensation Benefits
Many clients don't realize that workers' compensation benefits only cover a part of their regular income.
Consequently, if they are the primary income earner at home and have to stop working for some time because of an injury, they might eventually face some financial challenges.
In those moments, PTO might be the ideal alternative because it could provide some extra money to help the person make up those financial losses.
Injured workers should always think about PTO while on workers' comp because it might allow them to avoid financial hardship and focus on getting better.
Can Someone Start Using Their PTO Before Workers' Comp?
This is one of the most common and important questions to ask a workers' compensation attorney, and the answer is yes.
On many occasions, the workers' compensation benefits might take some time to process. Therefore, the person might not start receiving the money right away.
Consequently, they could suffer from financial challenges if they are unable to cover all the expenses they need while they are not working.
However, using PTO can be the ideal temporary solution. While the person waits for workers' comp benefits, they can rely on PTO to cover their expenses.
Another factor to remember is that clients need to file a workers' compensation claim. In numerous cases, these take a long time to process, and authorities might sometimes even deny workers' compensation claims.
Therefore, relying on vacation pay might be the ideal (if not the only) solution because the person does not know when, if ever, they'll get workers' comp.
How People Can Use Their PTO Before Workers' Compensation Kicks In
The state laws regarding workers' compensation determine if and when a person gets the benefits.
At the same time, clients should also keep in mind that sometimes using sick pay means the person is going against company policies. On other occasions, insurance companies just don't allow them to use paid time, but that depends on each corporation.
If the person wants to know how they can use their vacation pay to cover their workplace injury, the best idea is to talk to an experienced lawyer like the ones at Larrimer & Larrimer.
Law and Workers' Comp Benefits
Laws regarding workers' comp benefits vary from state to state, but there are often similarities when it comes to using paid time.
A good example of this is the fact that what workers get for PTO in conjunction with workers' comp benefits cannot exceed their weekly gross earnings.
What Workers' Compensation Law Says about Employers and PTO
Another aspect clients should keep in mind when considering using workers' compensation benefits and vacation pay is what the law says about employers.
As a general rule, if the person does not want to use their sick pay as wage replacement benefits for their workers' comp, employers cannot force them to.
When someone sustains a work-related injury, they have the right to claim and use workers' compensation. Therefore, no employer can make them use PTO instead.
Using the Pension and Workers' Compensation Benefits at the Same Time
On some occasions, the person suffering from the injury has to retire instead of coming back to work. When that happens, there are different sections under the workers' compensation law to explain what will happen next.
The law states that the employer has the legal right to reduce workers' comp by the amount of time they funded the employee's pension.
In other words, if they funded 20 percent of the injured workers' pensions, then they can deduct 20% off their compensation until the comp period ends.
Additionally, the law states that employers only need to give the person 20 days' notice to start taking credits from any workers' comp benefits.
Collecting Workers' Comp and Unemployment
Just like with PTO and the pension, people can collect workers' comp and unemployment at the same time. However, there are always rules when it comes to this, and the person needs to meet some guidelines.
If the client suffered a work injury and is willing to keep working in a lighter-duty position but the employer is unable to give them one, then they might be eligible for unemployment benefits.
Nonetheless, the number of unemployment benefits the person receives counts against their workers' comp. To know all the details, the best option is to call an expert lawyer, get a free consultation, and ask all the questions they want.
How Long Can People Collect Workers' Compensation Benefits?
A workers' compensation judge considers two primary aspects when calculating workers' comp: wage loss and medical expenses that result from workplace injury.
Overall, the person can take up to two years to collect all benefits. Furthermore, in some cases, workers' comp law states that the carrier can pay medical bills until the person's life ends.
Even so, multiple factors impact this, and only experts and the law can determine how much someone gets for their losses and for how long they can collect the benefits.
On a related note, we have an article on whether or not can you collect workers' compensation and social security.
Call a Lawyer Today
Regardless of whether the person needs an expert to manage communicating with the insurance company or they just need to ask a question about their vacation time, workers comp attorneys in Columbus Ohio at Larrimer & Larrimer can help them.
With a focus on fostering a positive attorney-client relationship, Larrimer & Larrimer lawyers want to make sure that the person gets all the guidance they need when they're going through a legal process. They help with various concerns surrounding workers' compensation, including if one can get pain and suffering with workers' compensation.
At the same time, each company's payroll department complies with the state rules but there are still other guidelines to keep in mind, such as the state's tax laws or even the employee handbook. Therefore, getting expert help is essential. A free case evaluation is available for anyone who wants it!