In the state of Mississippi, if you’re unable to work due to injuries you sustained on the job and are eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits, you’re not only entitled to at least a portion of your missed wages, but also to additional benefits such as medical expenses, medical-related travel expenses, and vocational retraining. In order to receive these benefits, you’ll need to track your expenses and report them.
There are multiple ways to go about tracking your expenses while recovering from a workers’ compensation injury in Mississippi. Before we go over those ways, let’s take a look at the extra benefits you may be entitled to.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits Mississippi Workers Are Entitled To
If you apply for workers’ compensation benefits in Mississippi and are approved, your primary benefits will take the form of disability benefits aiming to cover most or a portion of your lost wages. These benefits will typically be broken down into one of the following categories depending on the nature and outlook of your injuries according to your physician:
- Temporary Total Disability – When your doctor advises that you cannot work at all for a certain period of time. You’ll be awarded two-thirds of your weekly wages during this period.
- Temporary Partial Disability – If you’re allowed to return to light work temporarily and receive less than you had previously been earning. Benefits are based on two-thirds of the difference between your pre-injury and post-injury wages.
- Permanent Partial Disability – If you suffer from permanent impairment due to the injury yet are able to work in a limited capacity, you may be able to receive additional benefits based on the extent to which the injury has affected your ability to work and the nature of your job limitations.
- Permanent Total Disability – If you suffer from permanent impairment and are unable to work again in any capacity, workers’ compensation benefits are payable for a maximum of 450 weeks.
In addition to the above benefits, you may also be entitled to the following extra benefits in Mississippi if you’re eligible for workers’ compensation:
- Coverage for your medical expenses including doctor’s visits, hospital bills, at-home care, ongoing care such as physical therapy, prescriptions, and prosthetic devices
- Reimbursement for your traveling expenses to and from medical appointments and hospitals
- Vocational retraining if you’re in a position where you can no longer work at your current job but are able to take up a new occupation
- Death benefits for the dependents of someone who passed away due to a work-related injury or illness (for up to 450 weeks) as well as funeral expenses up to $5,000
When looking for help paying for the above extra benefits while recovering from a work injury, you may need to ask for reimbursement from your insurance company or the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission, which is the federal organization that handles and executes all workers’ compensation requests and decisions in the state. In order to receive reimbursement, you’ll need to show proof of the expenses.
How to Track and Show Proof of Expenses While on Workers’ Compensation
The type of proof that you will need to show to receive reimbursement will vary based on the type of expense you are seeking reimbursement for. If you’re ever unsure of what you need to provide exactly, it’s best to contact someone who is working on your workers’ compensation case or if you have hired a workers’ compensation attorney, they can help you as well.
In the case of showing proof of medical expenses like doctor’s visits and hospital bills, you will need to provide your medical records showing those appointments and hospital stay dates. You may also need to fill out a form asking for reimbursement. Similarly, you may have to do both things for seeking reimbursement for at-home care, ongoing care, or prescriptions. Since everything you do medically appears on your medical record, those in charge of your case will be able to easily verify that the care was needed.
In the instance of seeking reimbursement for traveling expenses you had when traveling to and from doctor’s visits, the hospital, and even for routine physical therapy visits and any type of medical appointment that was approved by the doctor you are seeing for your work-related injury, you will need to show proof by tracking mileage if you are driving to and from appointments, as well as by saving any gas receipts. It may be a good idea to keep a mileage log to track every trip easily.
Every state has slightly different limits for reimbursing for mileage. You may be asked to fill out a mileage reimbursement form that asks for the totals when submitting for reimbursement. Other travel-related expenses may be able to be covered as well, including costs for public transportation if applicable, parking, and public toll roads and bridges.
Seeking Aid from a Knowledgeable Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you have been injured on the job in Mississippi and are struggling to get the workers’ compensation benefits you know you’re entitled to or are not getting the full benefits you’re owed, it may be in your best interests to contact an Ocean Springs workers’ compensation lawyer who has the experience your case deserves. Corban Gunn, Attorney at Law is prepared to answer any questions you may have and can help you get the compensation that is legally yours.
Since workers’ compensation guidelines and requirements vary significantly from state to state, it’s always in your best interests to speak to someone who is familiar with that state’s updated laws and requirements. If you’re unsure how to fill out any form or don’t know who to send the forms to, we can help. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our Biloxi, Mississippi office if you have any questions for our legal team. We will do our best to help.