High-earning athletes and entertainers should know that Minnesota law caps some benefits payments for work injuries. As a result, you could find yourself with unexpectedly smaller earnings while you heal. In addition, some athletes and entertainers face barriers in getting benefits due to their professions.
Caps on Benefits
Some injured athletes or entertainers may receive temporary partial disability payments. These benefits compensate you for earning less money than you did before you were injured. Usually, TPD benefits amount to 66 2/3 percent of the difference between your weekly wage when you got injured and what you earn now.
Depending on your job, you may earn substantial wages even after your injury. For example, some entertainers reduce the number of performances they commit to, but still earn a high rate per performance. If your weekly wages after the injury plus the TPD benefit you could receive would be more than 500% of the statewide average weekly wage, then the insurance company will reduce your payments.
Payments get reduced by the amount they plus your wages exceed 500% of the statewide average weekly wage. The statewide average weekly wage is currently $1,077. That means that if you would receive more than $5,385 in wages and TPD benefits, your benefits will get reduced.
Barriers to Workers’ Compensation
Athletes face serious struggles in receiving workers’ compensation benefits. For college athletes, the university will generally claim that you are not an employee and deny you benefits on that basis. You may have your scholarship pulled and face years of medical bills. Students have had some success in recent years at challenging those decisions. For professional athletes, similar obstacles abound. Only recently, professional football players have begun receiving settlements for concussion injuries suffered in the course of their work.
Entertainers often have difficulty showing that an employer should cover their medical costs and wage loss. Lots of entertainers work for multiple employers or act as independent contractors. You may have trouble showing that your injury happened at a particular job, and that you were an employee at that job.
Athletes and entertainers should seek out legal help early in their workers’ compensation cases. You may want to talk to a lawyer before you even report the injury. Your lawyer can explain your options and help you challenge a denial of benefits.
Need help getting workers’ compensation as an athlete or entertainer? Joe Osterbauer, Esq. and the Osterbauer Law Firm stand up for injured Minnesota workers’ rights. Joe’s 27 years of workers’ compensation experience and his team’s speedy service combine to get clients the results they need. To schedule a free consultation, visit Osterbauer Law Firm online or call Joe’s office at (612) 334-3434.