People obtain jobs as a way to support themselves and their families. However, sometimes what happens at work can make it much more difficult for an individual to continue earning a living. Workers in any profession can get hurt in an incident on the job or develop a job-acquired medical condition. Construction workers could end up injured by a fall or an equipment failure, while office workers might develop carpal tunnel syndrome after years of typing and holding a phone.
Someone who is an employee, not an independent contractor, may have protection thanks to workers’ compensation benefits. How does the New Mexico workers’ compensation program protect those dealing with a job-related health issue?
The benefits include medical coverage
Not every worker in New Mexico has health insurance. Even those who do may decide against seeking treatment because of the costs involved. The average health insurance policy passes thousands of dollars back to individuals who need treatment in the form of co-pays, coinsurance and deductibles.
Those financial responsibilities will not be an issue for people who file a successful workers’ compensation claim. The medical benefits available provide full coverage with no patient responsibility costs. Workers’ compensation will pay for everything from prescription medication to surgery so long as it is necessary and someone will likely improve if they undergo treatment.
Workers can receive disability pay
A worker with carpal tunnel syndrome may need to take time off of work to let their body heal. Someone with a traumatic injury or in need of surgery could be away from work for weeks at a time. Workers’ compensation in New Mexico can provide people with disability benefits when they cannot work.
They can receive a portion of their average weekly wage until they are able to return to work. Those who have to move into a lower-paid job because of their symptoms might qualify for partial disability benefits. Someone who can never return to work or who will have a permanent change in their career because of their condition may qualify for permanent disability benefits. While the pay available through workers’ compensation disability benefits will usually be lower than someone’s typical income, the support can make a big difference for injured and sickened workers worried about supporting themselves.
Some workers worry about retaliation if they claim benefits, while others simply don’t understand how to navigate the system. For these and so many other reasons, seeking legal guidance can make a big difference for an employee in need of workers’ compensation benefits because of a health condition related to their employment.