State law provides that all employers, with one or more employees, must provide workers’ compensation coverage, except for farm, ranch laborers, and domestic helpers. However, you must be an employee engaged in the regular trade of a Nebraska-based business. Example, if you are hired as a shop welder, and you hurt yourself off the job site while replacing an engine in the boss’s hot rod, you’re not covered under the Act.
Before receiving weekly benefits, you must first be unable to return to work for at least 7 days. This is a cumulative number. So, you might return to work after 2 days, only to discover you can’t do the work and be restricted again from working. You’ll get credit for the first 2 days off (if it's due to the same injury) towards the total required days. The first check is generally slow in coming—oftentimes it takes 2 additional weeks.
Average Weekly Wage
While you can’t work at all, your total temporary disability (TTD) payments are two-thirds of your average weekly wage for the last 26 weeks. Overtime does not count one-and-a-half times your normal pay, only as straight time. However, no withholdings come out of your check.
Like all good things, your workers’ compensation benefits will come to an end—unless you’re found to be 100% permanently disabled. Not many are. Most return to work in some capacity. Sometimes, after being trained in another line of work.
Otherwise, all permanent injuries fall into one of two categories: member — an arm, leg, toe, etc., or whole body — your spine, head, or multiple member injuries. All member injuries are assigned a set number of benefit weeks. For example, below knee — 150 weeks. Every whole body injury is assigned 300 weeks.
After you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI), you will receive a rating percentage. After that, the remainder of your weekly benefits will be paid out at that reduced percentage, which is called your permanent partial disability (PPD).
How Steffens Law Can Help
If you have a serious whole body injury, you will need a lawyer’s help to receive fair compensation. Contact us today to learn more.