Is Pursuing WCB Benefits Worth It? We help you decide.
There is a very natural human impulse to shy away from adversity, even when doing so costs a person dearly. When we feel ourselves falling prey to defeatism, we tend to rationalize, justify our inaction, yet deep down, we know the easy way is rarely the right way. And especially when adversity takes the form of a sprawling bureaucracy, just itty bitty you against a monstrosity, the temptation to turn and run is indeed powerful and primordial. For many, the instinct to retreat into obscurity is irresistible, thus sentencing themselves to a life of wondering what could have been.
Dealing with a bureaucratic giant like WCB can certainly be intimidating, but within it, vital benefits await—wage-loss compensation, medical aid, home support, education opportunities, and retirement security. These lifelines can restore stability after work-related injuries. Though it might seem like battling a giant, understanding and pursuing these benefits can be transformative in post-injury life.
Understanding the Potential Rewards
Before diving into the costs, let’s look at what you stand to gain. The WCB offers various benefits that can significantly impact your life, especially after a work-related injury or illness.
Financial Value of Wage-Loss Benefits: Imagine you’re unable to work due to an injury. WCB benefits can help by replacing a large part of your lost income. It’s a critical lifeline, providing you with the bulk of your former income and easing the financial burden during tough times.
Medical Benefits: These are crucial. WCB can cover medical expenses like medication, therapy, surgery, and can even fast track access to healthcare – a significant advantage in a system where wait times can be lengthy. Think about it – without this support, you might be left waiting indefinitely for essential treatments, all the while struggling with pain and potentially worsening conditions.
Home Services Benefits: If you’re eligible, WCB can also assist with expenses like housekeeping and yard maintenance, which can be a lifesaver when you’re unable to manage these tasks yourself. This assistance not only helps maintain your home environment but also ensures that you can focus on recovery without the added stress of daily chores.
Retraining and Education: If your injury affects your ability to return to your previous job, WCB might offer retraining or education to help you start a new career. This is not just about financial support; it’s about giving you a chance to rebuild your professional life and find new, fulfilling employment opportunities.
Retirement Earnings: In some cases, WCB benefits can extend beyond retirement age, helping those who have mortgages or other financial obligations. This extended support can be a game-changer, especially for older workers who might find it challenging to manage their finances post-injury.
But what’s it going to cost me?
This question is highly variable, but if you decide to hire Blue Collar Consulting, the cost of appealing tends to range from $2,000 to $5,000 spread out over time.
Larry’s Dilemma: Larry, 43, faces a drastic reduction in his benefits. He’s done the math, and if he doesn’t appeal, he could lose out on nearly $924,000 over 22 years. The cost of appealing? Around $3,000-$5,000. It’s a big decision, but the potential payoff is exponential.
Janet’s Choice: At 63, Janet is close to retirement but has a mortgage and debts. Extending her benefits could mean an additional $500,000 over 10 years. The cost of pursuing this extension might be similar to Larry’s case, but the cost of inaction is half a million dollars.
Fred’s Health vs. Time: Jason is facing a two-year wait for a hernia surgery. WCB could expedite this process dramatically had the claim not been denied. The cost for pursuing these benefits is again in the thousands, but it could mean getting essential medical attention much sooner.
Wrapping It Up
Each case is unique, and the decision to pursue WCB benefits is personal. It’s about balancing the potential financial support against the costs and effort involved. As a WCB representative, I’ve seen many workers benefit significantly from these programs. But it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. I encourage you to consider your situation carefully, weigh the pros and cons, and make the decision that’s right for you.
Remember, pursuing WCB benefits is not just about the money. It’s about getting the support you need to navigate life after a work-related injury or illness. It’s about ensuring your wellbeing and that of your family. And that, more than anything, is worth considering seriously.