6. According to my doctor, I have elevated levels of lead in my blood due to my work. My condition is not disabling, but he recommends that I not work for several weeks until my lead levels are reduced. Can I receive benefits for the time I am out of work?
The Board usually upholds claims of this type. However, since there is no specific provision in the law covering these situations, at the present time such claims are usually contested by the insurance companies, leading to delays in obtaining benefits.
7. How much compensation is paid to someone disabled by an occupational disease?
Generally, benefits under the Workers' Compensation Law are calculated at two-thirds of an employee's average weekly wage, subject to certain dollar limitations depending on the degree of the disability and ability to work. If the disabling condition improves and the worker's ability to work changes, the benefit level can be reduced. Partially disabled workers who remain capable of performing some work receive compensation at a lower rate. Benefits generally last as long as the person remains disabled. If the work-related accident or date of disablement occurred on or after March 13, 2007, benefits are payable for a maximum number of weeks based upon the claimants loss of earning capacity. The maximum number of weeks for which a claimant can obtain benefits may be viewed on the Worker’s Compensations Board’s web site.
8. If I die of an occupational disease will my spouse and children be entitled to benefits?
Yes. The surviving spouse is eligible to receive death benefits in the amount of two-thirds of the average weekly wages per week, subject to limits set by law. The spouse receives death benefits until he or she remarries, at which time a final lump sum payment totaling two years of death benefits is paid. Surviving school-aged children share the death benefits with the spouse according to conditions and percentages set by the law. Certain other persons may be eligible for benefits in cases where there is no surviving spouse or school-aged child. There is also an allowance for reasonable funeral expenses.