Accidents leave us with more than just physical scars. Suppose you have suffered a significant injury resulting in the loss of a body part, although it is a life-altering thing to happen, there might be a silver lining – you could be eligible for a Schedule Loss of Use (SLU) award or other be offered a settlement. You may not know when anyone can fall into such situations, so you must know how awards like SLU and Settlements work and the factors that differentiate them.
What Is a Schedule Loss of Use Award?
Injury at work and consequent permanent loss of function in your body part will lead you to an SLU award. Consider it as a financial lifeline to bridge the gap between their reduced earning potential and their pre-injury wages.
It may work as a boost to the regular workers’ compensation that typically ranges from 1/3rd to 2/3rd of what you used to make.
Which Injury (To A Body Part) Can Qualify for SLU Awards?
Here is a list of injuries that can be awarded SLU:
- Arm, which includes shoulders and elbows.
- Hands, from wrists to forearms.
- Fingers and thumbs
- Legs, including both hips to the knees.
- Feet, till ankles
- Significant disfigurement to the face, neck, or scalp
Eligibility Criteria for SLU Awards
To qualify, you generally need to meet these criteria:
- After you recover from your injury at max level.
- Your doctor has released a medical report following the up-to-date Permanent Impairment Guidelines.
- Your injury has led to a permanent loss of function.
What Does It Mean To Have Settlements?
With life-altering injuries at work, you do have other options than an SLU award, and that is settlements. Unlike SLU awards, which are more towards your working ability, settlements are full and final cash awards from an insurance company.
This means that you will receive a one-time payout that frees the insurance company from further obligations instead of ongoing periodic payments.
Main Differences Between SLU Awards and Settlements
1. Advance Payment of Benefits
You can think of SLU awards as an advance of your workers’ compensation benefits, followed by a potential waiting period for future benefits
2. Medical Care
People receiving SLU awards can still get medical care covered, whereas those offered settlements might need to waive that right.
3. Additional Claims
SLU-awarded members can make additional claims for lost wage benefits within a span of 8 years. On the other hand, settlement recipients can’t pursue further claims.
4. Monetary Amounts
SLU awards have options when it comes to mode of payments, which might be paid weekly or as a lump sum, while settlements are typically one lump sum.
Don’t hesitate to seek legal representation from us at Edwards Sutarwalla Samani LLP. You can connect with us by dialing (713) 565-1353 or drop by our office located at 602 Sawyer St., Suite 490, Houston, TX 77007.