During an industrial injury, the treating physician may take the injured worker off of work. The question is, how does the inured worker get paid?
When an injured worker leaves the doctor’s appointment, they should receive, from the doctor, a work status form or a certificate of disability form. The form will show if the doctor has placed them on full duty, light duty with restrictions, or off of work. Under Nevada law, the must include the period of disability and a description of any physical limitations or restrictions imposed upon the work of the injured worker; specify whether the limitations or restrictions are permanent or temporary; and be signed by the treating physician or chiropractor.
If the doctor certifies the injured worker off of work, then the injured worker may be entitled to temporary total disability payments. With a few exceptions, NRS 616C.400 provides:
Temporary compensation benefits must not be paid under chapters 616A to 616D, inclusive, of NRS for an injury which does not incapacitate the employee for at least 5 consecutive days, or 5 cumulative days within a 20-day period, from earning full wages, but if the incapacity extends for 5 or more consecutive days, or 5 cumulative days within a 20-day period, compensation must then be computed from the date of the injury.
In addition, NRS 616C.475 provides that an injured worker is entitled to receive for the period of temporary total disability, 66 2/3 percent of the average monthly wage. Injured workers are not entitled to temporary total disability during any time the injured employee is incarcerated.
If any injured worker is entitled to temporary total disability, the first payment must be issued by the worker’s compensation insurer within 14 working days after receipt of the initial certification of disability and regularly thereafter. So you will receive your checks bi-weekly.
Temporary total disability payments will end when:
1. A physician or chiropractor determines that the employee is physically capable of any gainful employment for which the employee is suited, after giving consideration to the employee's education, training and experience;
2. The employer offers the employee light-duty employment or employment that is modified according to the limitations or restrictions imposed by a physician or chiropractor pursuant to NRS 616C.475(7); or
3. Except as otherwise provided in NRS 616B.028 and 616B.029, the employee is incarcerated.
Sometimes the worker’s compensation insurer does not send out the checks. In this event, your attorney should send a letter requesting the benefits. Sometimes the checks might be late. If they are routinely late, you may have an additional remedy against the insurer. This will be discussed in a future article.
Finally, the amount that the insurer is paying you may not be the correct amount. Please read my article on average monthly wage for more information.
I hope that this has been helpful and informative. Please read my other blogs for more free, valuable information.
Joel A. Santos, Esq., is a Nevada worker’s compensation attorney. He is certified by the State Bar of Nevada as a Worker’s Compensation Expert and Specialist.
Copyright 2020 - Joel A. Santos, Esq.