Each year, the workers’ compensation maximum wage loss benefit changes slightly in Mississippi. The state calculates this range annually as directed in Miss. Code Ann. § 71-3-13. The maximum wage replacement benefit that an injured worker in Mississippi can receive is two-thirds of the state’s average weekly wage for all workers.
According to the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission, the highest workers’ compensation in Mississippi for 2021 is $523.16. This amount is slightly higher than the 2020 total. A new cap will go into effect on January 1, 2022. This cap applies only to wage loss benefits when the injured worker’s calculated benefit exceeds this amount.
How Does Mississippi Handle Wage Loss Benefits After a Workplace Injury?
When an employee gets hurt at work and cannot return to their job immediately because of their injuries, they may need to file a workers’ compensation claim to receive wage loss benefits. According to the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission, an injured or sick worker should draw about two-thirds of their average weekly income up to the current maximum when the injury occurred.
The claim generally begins as a temporary disability, and payments continue while the worker receives care for their injury or illness. The worker might later return to partial work and still receive partial benefits.
Once the worker reaches their maximum medical improvement, they can either return to their previous position or receive permanent disability benefits if they cannot. Those with permanent injuries could also qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits or another program.
Are There Other Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Workers’ compensation in Mississippi also provides medical care benefits. These benefits cover your treatment, rehabilitation, and related expenses. In addition, you could receive vocational support and therapy to help you relearn job skills, acquire skills for a new job, or learn how to do your job accounting for your disabilities.
There is also a death benefit for the families of workers killed on the job in Mississippi or who die from work-related illnesses.
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Who Qualifies for Workers’ Compensation in Mississippi?
According to The Mississippi Bar, most workers should have workers’ compensation insurance coverage in the state. Mississippi law requires that employers pay for this coverage if they have more than five employees, including full-time, part-time, and seasonal workers. Many employers with fewer than five workers also provide coverage, although it is not mandatory.
Oil workers, seamen, and others who work on the open water may not qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, but they have rights under the Jones Act and other maritime laws.
Understanding the Workers’ Compensation Claims Process in Mississippi
The first step in getting workers’ compensation wage loss benefits is notifying your employer of your accident and injuries. You should make this notification as soon as possible, following any guidelines in your employee handbook or another document.
Your employer should complete the correct forms and report your injury to those responsible for managing your claim. However, businesses don’t always complete this step. They may allege your injuries did not occur at work, that you were somehow at fault and ineligible for benefits, or never notify their insurer about your injuries.
There can also be issues getting approved and receiving benefits even if your employer follows the rules. For example, you could have your claim denied, a miscalculation of your wage-loss benefits, or other concerns.
An Attorney Can Manage Your Workers’ Compensation Claim or Appeal a Denial
If your employer is not acting in good faith, or if you have other questions or concerns about your claim, a workers’ compensation lawyer could help. Many provide free consultations during which they can explain your legal rights and answer your questions. A law firm could also:
- Move your claim forward
- Appeal a denial
- Convince the insurer to recalculate your benefits
- Negotiate a settlement
Workers’ compensation lawyers generally work based on contingency, and some laws limit the percentage of your payout they can collect as fees. However, there is no obligation to hire an attorney even after meeting with them, so you have nothing to lose.
A workers’ compensation firm can pursue your benefits or appeal a denial while you focus on your treatment, rehabilitation, and physical recovery.
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Morris Bart, LTD Can Help You Better Understand Your Claim
At the Morris Bart law firm, our team will review your case with you for free today. We can help you understand the benefits you deserve and what you need to do to get them. We have 16 locations in four states, including three in Mississippi — Gulfport, Hattiesburg, and Pascagoula. We serve all areas of the state.
Call (800) 537-8185 today to speak with a member of our team about your workplace injury or illness and how to recover workers’ compensation benefits.
Questions?Call (800) 537-8185
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