A work-related accident can create a lot of financial havoc in a victim's life regardless of the seriousness or the benefits available. To add insult to injury, the injury could cause you to fall behind on bills and the resulting problems may make things even worse. Read to find out more about how your disability wages might be vulnerable to debt collection actions after a work injury.
Disability Wages Are Not a Salary Replacement
If you are approved for workers' compensation coverage from your employer, you might be paid about 66.6% of your salary in weekly benefit checks. Many hurt workers are out of work for a few days or a week or so and then return to their job and their usual rate of pay. Some workers, though, are out of work for weeks and weeks while living on a partial disability wage is sure to impact a budget.
Bill Collection Actions May Follow
Once you get behind on credit card, medical, and other bills, creditors have at their disposal a number of collection techniques. It may start out with constant phone calls and letters and may progress to being sued in court. People that owe money seldom win and judgments for the creditors are handed down all the time. Unfortunately, court orders can impose wage garnishment on your paychecks.
What to Know About Wage Garnishment
Wage garnishment orders must be followed by your employer and that can leave you with a woefully inadequate paycheck. Whether or not disability wages can be garnished is the question. Since disability wages are not considered income, they are likely safe from garnishment actions. The real problem is that you are now suffering the consequences of reduced income due to a workplace accident and injury.
Long-Term Solutions to Income Issues
Unfortunately, there is little that can be done for short-term injuries. While your disability income is safe from wage garnishment, you may still get behind on bills and suffer the effects of a lowered credit score. For those hoping to buy a home in the future, the negative effects of a work-related injury can be suffered for years. Workers who are deemed to be permanently injured, however, need to take further action to protect their lifetime earnings.
If you are permanently injured, speak to a workers' compensation lawyer about a lump-sum settlement. Having a lawyer negotiate the settlement for you can make a world of difference in the method and amount you are paid. Don't let a workplace injury cause more problems with your financial situation. Speak to a workers' comp lawyer today.