From repetitive stress injuries to sudden accidents on the job, each year millions of Americans seek medical care due to work-related health issues. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employers in the private sector alone reported 2.8 million job-related illnesses and injuries in 2018.
With few exceptions, New Hampshire law requires employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. When an employee experiences an injury or illness related to his or her occupational duties, this type of insurance coverage may provide a range of benefits, including compensation for medical expenses, lost or diminished wages and vocational rehabilitation.
Even a relatively minor injury may lead to costly medical expenses. New Hampshire workers’ compensation law requires insurance carriers to cover costs for all needed treatments related to an occupational injury or illness, including necessary surgical procedures, prescriptions and rehabilitative care. In certain cases, the employee may also claim reimbursement for travel expenses related to medical appointments.
Temporary disability payments
If an injury prevents an employee from returning to work for more than three days, he or she may be eligible for weekly disability payments to help recover lost wages. State law bases these payments on income, providing 60% of the employee’s average weekly wage based on a 26- to 52-week period of employment prior to the injury.
Temporary partial disability payments
In some cases, employees may be able to return to work but unable to earn the same wages as before. Workers whose injury leads to diminished earning capacity may be able to receive partial disability payments. These payments provide 60% of the difference between what the employee was earning before and after the injury.
Vocational rehabilitation services
When an employee’s injury prevents her or him from returning to a job for which that person has specialized training or experience, workers’ compensation coverage may include assistance from Certified Vocational Rehabilitation Providers. These state-certified professionals offer a wide range of services, including career counseling, job-seeking skills, coaching and retraining.