2/3′s of average weekly wage, $500 per week maximum for injuries occurring after July 1, 2007. Waiting period is 7 days, retroactive after 21 days of disability. Income benefits are due on the 21st day after the employer has knowledge of the injury. Temporary total disability benefits continue as long as the employee remains disabled, up to 400 weeks from the date of injury. However, after release to light duty work, if employment not provided by employer, the amount will be reduced to the temporary partial rate, not to exceed $334 per week, after 52 consecutive, or 78 aggregate, weeks on TTD. (No time limit in catastrophic injury cases) Benefits not paid on time must be increased by 15%, and benefits not paid on time after an award must be increased by 20%. Death benefits for dependents are limited to 400 weeks, generally, except that a surviving spouse can receive benefits until age 65, or for 400 weeks, whichever is greater (maximum of $150,000 for sole surviving spouse).
Generally, the Employer must furnish a panel of 6 physicians, one of whom must be an orthopedic surgeon, although other options for a conformed panel or managed care may be acceptable. 100% of necessary medical expenses incurred under the direction of an authorized treating physician are covered. Medical expenses include the employee’s travel to and from health care providers. The Board can order a change of physicians, or the employee can make one change to another physician on the panel, without authorization from the Board. The Employee is also entitled to one examination by a doctor of his or her choice, at the Employer’s expense, within 120 days of receipt of any income benefits.
Mandatory only in catastrophic injury cases. Nurse Case Managers are not permitted to have direct contact with employee except in catastrophic injury cases, or by consent.
Compulsory as to all employers of 3 or more, including State and local governments. Elective as to partners, sole proprietors or farm employers.
The employer is entitled to notice of an injury on-the-job, and until such notice is given, the employer is not responsible for any benefits. Notice must be given within 30 days.
Compensation is not allowed for willful misconduct or injury due to intoxication by alcohol or drugs. Compensation can be denied for an unjustified refusal to submit to a drug test.
System administered by the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. Cases are scheduled within 90 days of a hearing request, and are tried by an administrative law judge, with appeals to the Full Board (the 3 directors of the Board), then superior court, then the Court of Appeals.