Disability (Lost Wages) in Texas Workers Comp Cases
When people hear the word “disability”, they usually think of a physical disability such as the inability to walk, speak, hear, lift, bend, stand, or even move.
However, within the scope of Texas Workers’ Compensation, Disability refers to an injured employee’s ability to earn income; specifically, whether or not the injured or sick employee is able to earn the same amount of income as they earned before the work-related injury or illness occurred.
So in short, Disability is defined as any loss of income that arises as a result of an injured employee’s Compensable Injury or Illness.
Partial Disability – If an injured employee returns to work following a Compensable Injury but now earns less than before the injury or illness, then the employee will be entitled to Income Benefits for the amount of lost income suffered. For example, if before his injury, an employee’s Average Weekly Wage was $1,000.00, but after his injury is only able to earn $600.00 per week, the employee is entitled to receive Income Benefits based on the difference between his pre-injury wages and post-injury wages.
Disability Start Date – Disability is said to begin the first day that the employee earns less than pre-injury wages, because of the Compensable Injury.
Disability Disputes – Sometimes disputes arise between the insurance carrier and the injured worker as to whether or not the Compensable Injury caused Disability. Other disputes may arise as to when did Disability start and stop, or whether the employee’s Disability is a result of the Compensable Injury.
If you have suffered lost wages (Disability) as the result of a work-related injury or illness, then you should contact an experienced workers’ comp attorney right away. The issues are complex and the disputes are often heated and hard-fought.
Texas Workers’ Compensation laws are complex and impact many areas of an injured workers’ life and future. The insurance carrier has one goal: to limit or dispute your medical care and your entitlement to income benefits. Call 888-434-COMP (888-434-2667) and talk to our hard-working, experienced workers’ comp lawyers. You owe it to yourself to talk to an attorney who can help you understand your rights, responsibilities and options in this difficult time of your life. The call is free, there is no obligation, and all conversations are kept strictly confidential. Call today.
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