A question I often get is, “How does Nevada workers’ compensation work?”
As I have explained in a previous blog post, workers’ compensation is an exclusive remedy in Nevada to compensate employees that are injured in the course and scope of their employment. The steps to filing a claim require that there be a specific accident that caused an injury, the injury is timely reported to your employer (as soon as possible, but within 7 days), and that you timely filed a request for compensation by going to the doctor and completing a C-4 form (within 90 days of the injury).
Once the C-4 form is completed, the form will be sent to your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company and an adjuster will be assigned. Upon receiving the C-4 form the adjuster has 30 days to accept or deny the claim. Whether they accept or deny the claim, my office always appeals the initial claim acceptance letter (click here to find out why). If they send you a denial, you will need to appeal the Notice of Claim Denial within 70 days of the date on the letter. If they accept the claim, you can now begin receiving treatment and compensation benefits you deserve.
They accepted my claim, what benefits should I be receiving?
Workers’ compensation benefits can be broken down into four main groups of benefits: (1) medical care, (2) temporary total disability benefits, (3) permanent partial disability awards, and (4) vocational rehabilitation benefits.
Medical care benefits include an injured workers’ right to receive treatment for their injuries. An injured worker has 90 days from the date of the injury to request a transfer of care to a doctor of their choosing. The workers’ compensation doctor that an injured worker selects must come off the workers’ compensation insurance company’s provider list. Injured workers are also entitled to reimbursement for their mileage to doctors’ appointments but must meet the requirement of traveling 40 miles round trip within a week to be eligible.
Temporary total and temporary partial disability benefits are financial compensation benefits that are paid when an injured worker is either taken off work for their injuries by a doctor or are working light duty but making less than normal because of their work restrictions. The amount of temporary total and temporary partial disability benefits are determined by the insurance adjuster calculating an average monthly wage and a daily rate. Benefits are paid at 66 2/3 % of an injured workers’ average monthly wage.
Permanent partial disability (PPD) awards are another form of financial compensation benefit that an injured worker may receive in Nevada. Not every injured worker gets a PPD. A PPD is when an injured worker has a permanent impairment as a result of their injury. These are calculated at the end of the injured workers’ treatment and the percentage of impairment is given by a rating physician or chiropractor.
Lastly, vocational rehabilitation is an additional benefit that only applies to injured workers’ who have received permanent work restrictions at the end of their treatment. Only injured workers with an employer who does not offer a permanent light duty job, within 30 days, are eligible for vocational rehabilitation. Vocational rehabilitation is a benefit offered through workers’ compensation insurance wherein they set the injured worker up with a vocational rehabilitation counselor that provides an injured worker with the ability to go to school or training for a new career that they can do with their permanent work restrictions.
Although this blog is a short explanation of how Nevada workers’ compensation works and the benefits provided, there are many issues that can arise in a Nevada workers’ compensation and they are often complicated. It is always recommended that you meet with a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney for a consultation or case review.