If you suffer a compensable accident at work or an occupational disease, the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act determines what benefits you are entitled to receive. An injured worker is entitled to receive, at no cost to him or her, the medical treatment for any item which is reasonably calculated to provide relief, lessen the period of disability or effect a cure for the injured worker. The workers’ compensation carrier is entitled to pick the medical providers, with some exceptions.
In addition, the injured worker is entitled to receive a weekly indemnity check while he or she is either completely written out of work for the injury, or is restricted to work that the employer cannot accommodate. This money is referred to as a temporary total disability payment. The amount of this check may be calculated using different methods, depending on factors such as the employee’s length of employment prior to the injury. The goal is to most nearly approximate the amount the injured employee would be earning if not for the injury. The weekly check may continue for up to 500 weeks under the law, with some possibility of extending it beyond that in certain cases.
Alternatively, if the worker can do part-time work, he or she would be entitled to a partial check while not able to earn the amount earned prior to the date of injury. This is known as a temporary partial disability payment and is essentially two-thirds of the difference between the pre-injury average weekly wage and the post-injury average weekly wage.