Are There Other Claims or Benefits I Should Consider besides Workers' Compensation?
This book addresses some of the most common issues in Vermont workers’ compensation claims. Nevertheless, you should also consider claims or benefits beyond the scope of workers’ compensation such as:
- Short-term and long-term disability insurance benefits may exist, and yet many employees are incorrectly told by a supervisor or HR representative that they cannot receive this company benefit if they are “still on workers’ comp.” Most short-term and long-term disability insurance policies pay a “minimum” monthly amount even when workers’ compensation continues to be paid.
- Loan insurance may exist. A car loan or mortgage loan transaction often includes “disability” insurance as part of the deal. Consumers do not always realize they have insurance that will help them make car payments or mortgage payments in the event of a disability.
- Social Security Disability benefits may also be available. You can contact the Social Security Administration online or by telephone for information and an application.
- Local municipalities and towns sometimes offer assistance to disabled persons.
- Charitable societies, church organizations, and other groups may also be available in a particular locality for partial assistance.
- Vermont Medicaid (VHAP) offers medical insurance and other benefits and services to qualified persons. Some Vermont assistance programs are ReachUp, 3SquaresVT, Fuel Assistance, General Assistance, Emergency Assistance, and Refugee Cash Assistance.
- Medicare offers certain medical expense insurance and services to qualified persons.
- Unemployment compensation benefits are available through the Vermont Department of Labor to qualified persons.
- Vocational rehabilitation and retraining services are offered by the Vermont Department of Labor to qualified persons.
- Third-Party Claims are lawsuits brought by injured workers against negligent persons or companies responsible for causing the work injury other than the employer. (The law doesn’t permit the injured worker to “sue” the employer.) For example, an employee is a delivery driver and is stopped at a red light. A negligent driver comes from behind and causes a rear-end collision that injures and disables the employee. The injured employee has in addition to a claim for workers’ compensation benefits the right to bring a lawsuit against the negligent driver. Note that successful recovery of money in a third-party claim is subject to reimbursement to the workers’ compensation insurer and results in a credit for future benefits that would be owed. There are notice and other requirements under 21 V.S.A. Section 624. Third-party claims also may play a part in settlement negotiations.