Frequently Asked Questions About Workers' Compensation

The workers' compensation process can be confusing. Here are the answers to some common questions about how the process works in Wisconsin. If you have additional questions, don't hesitate to call Hannula Halom & Scherz at 715-718-3621, stop by our office in downtown Superior or send us an email.

What am I paid if I'm hurt on the job?
While you are off work, in Wisconsin you can get two-thirds of your typical weekly pay and all medical expenses paid through the workers' compensation system. There is a maximum amount you may receive.

Can I choose my own doctor?
Yes. You have the right to see any doctor. (Your employer can send you to a doctor for evaluation but not treatment.) You should pick a doctor who specializes in your injury.

How long can I receive workers' compensation benefits?
You can continue to receive benefits until your doctor says you are able to return to work. If your employer cannot offer work within your temporary restrictions, your benefits continue.

What if I can't go back to work or my employer won't take me back after I have healed?
If your doctor says your injury has caused permanent restrictions (like restrictions on lifting, bending or standing), then you receive additional benefits based on the amount of disability the doctor states. If your employer has a job available within those permanent restrictions, they must offer that job to you or be subject to a penalty. But if there is no work within your restrictions, your employer does not have to take you back. If this is the case, you may be entitled to more benefits because you cannot go back to your job, or you may get retraining benefits to send you back to school so that you can get a job that pays as much as the job you lost.

Can I get worker's compensation and Social Security Disability at the same time?
Yes. There are different eligibility requirements for Social Security Disability, however.

When should I hire a lawyer?
A lawyer can help in many situations related to workers' compensation claims, including when:

  • Your claim has been denied (or you feel it will be denied soon).
  • It has been more than two weeks since your claim was approved and you have received no benefits.
  • The insurance company asks you to give a statement.
  • You are being treated unfairly after your injury.
  • You cannot return to work because of your injury.
  • You are asked to sign a settlement document.
  • You are fired after your injury.

How much do lawyers charge?
In Wisconsin workers' compensation, lawyers charge only if the claim is won. By law, these fees may only be 20 percent of the amount in dispute.