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Workers' compensation programs are state specific. Each state has a different set of rules and requirements and grants different benefits.
So, what are the best and worst states for workers' compensation? It depends on what criteria you're looking at.
Most states have a waiting period after an injury before a person can claim disability benefits, with some exceptions. The waiting period is only three days in California, Iowa, and Illinois. In New Jersey, Georgia, and Florida, the waiting period is as long as seven days.
If you have a temporary total disability, you'll be lucky if you live in Wisconsin. Wisconsin allows up to 1,000 weeks of temporary total disability benefits. Minnesota and Texas only allow 104 weeks.
The amount of benefit payments usually is a percentage of your income prior to a disability. Alaska allows the highest percentage at 80 percent of spendable weekly wage. Most other states allow about 66 percent. However, in terms of maximum payment, Iowa offers the highest benefit of more than $1,100 per week. Mississippi offers only a little over $300 per week.
If you're an employer, workers' compensations cost you more in California than it would cost you in North Dakota. Employers in California pay over $3 in workers' comp premiums for every $100 in payroll. In North Dakota, employers pay less than $1.
No matter what state you live in, if you suffered an injury at your work or if you believe that your injury is work related, you should:
With such varying benefits and requirements, you should consult an experienced local workers' compensation attorney to help file your claim.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.