What Are Supplemental Earnings Benefits?

Woman looking at the cash in her wallet

Sometimes employees who have been injured at work are able to recover enough to return to work, but not at their full capacity. Not being able to work full-time or at the same capacity as you could pre-accident, often means less pay. For employees receiving workers’ compensation benefits, “supplemental earnings benefits” (or SEB) can help fill in the wage gap.

What is Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that is paid for by an employer, that provides health care and disability benefits for employees who experience a work-related injury or illness. Virtually all employers in Louisiana are required to carry workers’ compensation.

Workers’ compensation covers both traumatic injuries and occupational illnesses. Traumatic injuries are injuries that result from a one-time occurrence or accident that happens at work. For example, a slip and fall that occurs at work would be a traumatic injury. Occupational illnesses, on the other hand, are injuries or illnesses that occur over a period of time as a result of workplace conditions and/or requirements. For example, carpal tunnel syndrome, which can be caused by repetitive movements due to job demands, would be an occupational injury. Mesothelioma is an example of a workplace disease caused by exposure to asbestos.

Supplemental Earnings Benefits

In the context of workers’ compensation, supplemental earnings benefits apply when an injured worker is unable to return to work in a capacity or job that allows him/her to make at least 90% of his pre-accident wages. In other words, SEB is paid when the injured worker is no longer considered to be “temporarily totally disabled” yet is not capable of earing 90% of his or her pre-injury wage. For example, if an injured worker was receiving temporary total disability benefits (“TTD”) and his doctor releases him to return to work with restrictions, he may be eligible for SEB. His TTD benefits may be converted to SEB.

In Louisiana, SEB benefits are generally calculated to be 2/3rds of the difference between an injured worker’s Average Weekly Wage and either what he is earning or is capable of earning.

Unlike many states, in Louisiana, how much an injured worker can receive depends on the level of his or her disability, not on a statutory cap.

There is far more to know about SEB that what we can discuss in a short blog post. Also, it is important to know that Louisiana’s workers’ compensation laws are not like those of most other states. So if you have a workers’ compensation claim, you should seek out experienced Louisiana workers’ compensation counsel to assist you.

Workers’ Compensation Lawyers in Louisiana.

As a former Administrative Law Judge for the Louisiana Workforce Commission, Georgia Day of the Day Law Group, understands workers’ compensation from the inside out. We have offices in Baton Rouge, and we serve Baker, Gonzales, Port Allen, New Orleans, Zachary and several other cities in Louisiana and we offer free consultations. To schedule your free consultation, call ToDay at (225) 465-12320 or contact us here.

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