If you become injured at work, you’ll want to make sure that you’re able to continue earning an income while you’re incapacitated. Continue reading to learn more about workers’ compensation in the state of Mississippi.
Workers’ Compensation Defined
According to the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission, “Workers’ compensation is essentially a no-fault insurance plan mandated by State law, supervised by the Workers’ Compensation Commission and paid for entirely by employers.” In addition, it “was enacted by the Legislature in 1948 to guarantee the payment of certain medical and wage loss benefits to persons injured on their job.”
The Workers’ Compensation Law protects most working Mississippians, but there are a few exceptions. Employers that have five or more employees are required by law to provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage. Employers that have less than five employees are not required to provide this coverage, but they have the option to do so.
Employees that work in the following fields are not covered under workers’ compensation insurance:
- Domestic labor
- Farm labor
- Non-profit fraternal, charitable, religious, or cultural organizations
- Federal employees
- Certain transportation and maritime jobs
- Independent contractors
No matter how severe the injury, any injury is covered as long as it is a result of the course and scope of employment. In addition, job-related illnesses and diseases are covered, as well as work-related deaths.
When Coverage Starts
Workers’ compensation coverage begins immediately after becoming employed. There is no waiting period necessary and no minimum earnings stipulation.
Steps to Take After an On-The-Job Injury
Notify Your Employer
If you’re injured while working, the first thing you should do is immediately notify your employer of the incident. It’s very important that you tell your employer right away. It’s best that you do so within 30 days of your injury.
Once you’ve made your employer aware of the injury, it’s their responsibility to submit a report to their insurance company and/or the Workers’ Compensation Commission.
There is a two-year statute of limitations for workers’ compensation. That means if you don’t file a claim to receive disability benefits within two years after your injury, then you lose the right to any benefits. However, if you submit a claim with the Commission during the two year period, but haven’t received benefits yet, you may still be eligible for compensation.
According to the Workers’ Compensation Law, there are two standard benefits for injured employees:
- Medical Benefits - If you’re injured while at work, you are entitled to the reasonable and necessary medical services that are needed in order to care for the injury and bring you back to normal. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Doctor services
- Hospital services
- Nursing services
- Physical therapy
- Any other equipment or medical service that is required
- Mileage expense reimbursement for doctor visits
- Certain rehabilitation services
Wage Loss Benefits - If your injury causes you to miss work, then you are entitled to a benefit for two-thirds of your average weekly wage. Your wage will be subject to a capped weekly amount and to particular time limits set by the Legislature. You will receive a “temporary disability” payment during the time you are unable to work or earn full pay while you are receiving continuous medical care. Once your physician has declared that you have “achieved maximum cure or improvement,” but you have a permanent disability or handicap, then you may be eligible for additional wage loss benefits, referred to as “permanent disability” payments. Once you start receiving benefits, you’ll need to be paid at least every 14 days as long as your disability persists, subject to particular statutory time limits.
If you’ve been injured as a result of a work-related incident, you may be owed compensation. Our attorneys here at MW Law Firm PLLC - Mama Justice are highly skilled in the area of workers’ compensation law and have helped many other people just like you obtain the benefits they needed when they needed them most. Don’t hesitate to contact our team with your case right away.
Call us today at (662) 262-6264 to discuss the details of your case!