Are Seasonal Workers Entitled to Workers' Compensation Benefits?

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If you are injured at work, you're entitled to Workers' Compensation, which provides medical care and payments for temporary and permanent disability. But what if your injury happens at a seasonal job? The retail industry and the agriculture industry, among others, rely on seasonal labor during periods of peak demand -- like holidays and harvests. However, a workplace injury can keep affecting an injured worker long after the season ends. Fortunately, seasonal workers can get help through the Workers' Compensation system.

Can seasonal workers get TTD (Temporary Total Disability)?

TTD, or Temporary Total Disability, is a crucial Workers' Compensation benefit that helps you keep a roof over your (and your family's) heads with payments twice a month while you recover from a workplace injury. Seasonal workers can receive TTD.

TTD pays out to seasonal workers at two different rates: in-season, while you would be on the job, based on your average weekly wage, and off-season. Your off-season rate is calculated based on many factors, such as age, education, skill, and whether you'd be working somewhere else after the end of the season. If you are an injured seasonal worker that doesn't work during the rest of the year, you will not receive off-season TD. However, if you are an injured seasonal worker who typically finds other opportunities when the season is done, you are entitled to TD payments even after the term of your seasonal employment is done.

Can seasonal workers get PD (Permanent Disability)?

Injured workers are entitled to compensation for permanent disability, which can affect your earning potential for the rest of your life. Seasonal workers receive PD based on the same formula as regular employees. This is a complex calculation based on which parts of your body are damaged and how much use you've lost of those body parts. Your PD number is determined by a med-legal evaluation.

Can seasonal workers receive medical care?

All injured workers receive medical care for their workplace injuries through the Workers' Compensation system, including seasonal workers. Medical treatment in Workers' Compensation is subject to utilization review by the insurance company, which can cause inconvenient denials and delays, but it is completely free -- even your transportation costs to and from appointments are covered or reimbursed.

In short, seasonal workers are entitled to all the same benefits as any injured worker, with a few caveats. If your employer or their insurance company tries to deny your Workers' Compensation claim because you're a seasonal worker, contact an experienced Workers' Compensation attorney.

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