Alabama’s workers’ compensation law requires all employers with 5 or more employees to purchase workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation is important because it provides certain protections and benefits for both employers and their employees.
Workers’ compensation helps employees who are injured on the job by providing certain benefits to cover things like medical expenses and lost wages. In Alabama, workers’ compensation is no-fault insurance, meaning an employee doesn’t have to prove that their employer was responsible for their injury in order to receive benefits.
For employers, workers’ comp insurance limits liabilities and protects against double compensation, fines and penalties.
How do I know if my employer has workers’ comp insurance?
Employers can purchase workers’ compensation insurance in Alabama in the following ways:
- Voluntary market
- An assigned risk tool
- Group self-insurance
Employers are supposed to provide proof of coverage to show that all their workers are covered for workplace injuries. A certificate of insurance is issued to all businesses that are compliant with the insurance requirement with regard to the welfare of workers.
Who qualifies as an employee under Alabama workers’ comp?
According to Alabama labor state laws, part-time workers, corporate workers and LLC members are all classified as employees.
Employees who may not qualify for workers’ comp coverage include:
- Farm workers
- Domestic employees working in private homes
- Municipalities with a minimum of 2,000 residents
- Casual employees without guaranteed work hours
What benefits am I entitled to under Alabama workers’ compensation insurance?
Alabama’s workers’ compensation provides benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. These benefits include:
- Medical benefits. These benefits cover all medical-related expenses, including hospital stays, doctor appointments, surgeries, medication, diagnostic tests, rehabilitation, and medical supplies and devices.
- Wage loss benefits. These benefits cover lost wages while you are unable to work or work in a limited capacity. They typically amount to two-thirds of your “average weekly wage” for a period of time that varies based on your disability.
- Death benefits. These benefits are paid to certain qualifying surviving family members if you’re killed at work.
What is an average weekly wage?
The amount of wage loss benefits you can receive is based on your “average weekly wage,” which is typically calculated by taking the total amount of money you earned over the previous 52 weeks and dividing it by 52. This amount includes overtime work during that period.
Wage loss benefits amount to two-thirds of your average weekly wage.
Are there caps on wage loss benefits?
Weekly wage loss benefits in Alabama are limited to a maximum amount set every year by the state. For the 2022 calendar year, work injuries that occur on or after July 1, 2022, are limited to a maximum of $1,026 per week. The amount of time you’re entitled to receive wage loss benefits depends on your disability.
Temporary total disability
If a doctor determines that an employee is unable to work for more than 3 days because of a work-related injury, that worker may be eligible for temporary total disability (TTD) payments. The total amount will be two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly wage, subject to a maximum amount set annually by the state.
There’s no limit on the number of weeks you can receive TTD payments.
Temporary partial disability
If an employee is only able to return to work on a part-time or light-duty basis, they may be eligible for temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits. These benefits will be two-thirds of the difference between your average weekly wages before and after your injury and are also subject to a maximum amount set annually by the state.
TPD benefits can be paid for up to 300 weeks. Keep in mind that if your doctor clears you for modified or part-time work, you must work in that designated capacity to receive benefits.
Permanent partial disability
If an employee suffers a permanent disability but is still able to work in some capacity (part-time or light-duty), they may be entitled to permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits. The benefits you receive will depend on the permanent impairment rating given to you by your doctor and a state schedule that assigns degrees of impairment based on the injured body part.
PPD benefits can be paid for up to 300 weeks.
Permanent total disability
If an employee is permanently and totally disabled, meaning they’re not able to return to work in any capacity, they may be entitled to permanent total disability (PTD) benefits, which are equal to two-thirds of their average weekly wage, subject to a maximum amount set annually by the state.
There’s no limit on the number of weeks you can receive PTD payments.
When to contact an Alabama workers’ compensation attorney
Alabama workers’ compensation cases can be complicated. If you believe your workers’ compensation case has been wrongly denied, you should contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can explain your rights.
At Nomberg Law Firm, we’ve been fighting for the rights of injured Alabama workers against insurance companies and corporations for more than 50 years. Our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys can explain your rights, investigate your case and negotiate with the insurance company so you can focus on getting better.
About Nomberg Law Firm
Nomberg Law Firm has been helping people in Alabama recover fair compensation for their injuries since 1967. We know our clients are hard-working men and women who deserve the best representation possible. That’s why we’ve dedicated our entire practice to fighting for your rights after an injury.
The small size of our family-owned firm allows us to focus on our client’s needs and enables us to provide individualized assistance and personal attention that larger firms simply can’t match.