While you may be very glad that you have those valuable workers' comp benefits, you may be wondering how safe this form of compensation is from wage garnishment. When you get injured a work, you not only have access to no-cost medical care, but you are actually paid a portion of your salary while you get better. If you also have some wage garnishment actions against you while you recuperate, you may be wondering if the compensation you get from workers' comp is vulnerable. Read on to find out more about having your workers' comp wages garnished.
In most cases, wage garnishment can occur when you fail to make certain types of payments. The reason for the garnishment can range from bills you owe to child support payments. Garnishment is actually done through a court order sent to your employer. A certain amount of money is then automatically taken from your paycheck before you receive it. This money goes toward paying off your debt.
The Amount Garnished
Wages may be garnished up to a certain amount, and that amount is usually a percentage of your pay instead of a flat amount. While the exact rules can vary from state to state, there are generally some limits on how much may be garnished at one time. If you have several creditors, some may have to wait their turn. You should be left with a reduced amount, but you must still receive some of your salary.
Your Workers' Compensation
When it comes to workers' comp, it is the word 'compensation" that is key. Workers' comp benefits are not considered income. It is not taxable nor is it available for garnishments. Any garnishment orders will be put on hold until you are able to return to work and again begin earning income. There is are a few exemptions, so check with your state workers' comp board for more information. For example, there are some states that do have provisions in place to garnish some child support back payments.
Get Help With Your Claim
If you have been injured at work and you are beginning to feel a financial pinch, you may be the victim of a permanent injury. This type of injury calls for a higher level of compensation, such as lump sum payments and rehabilitative training to learn new work skills. You might need the expertise of a workers' comp attorney to help you cope with the stressful negotiation that comes with having a more serious injury. Don't wait until your financial situation begins to fall apart, get help now.
Contact a workers' compensation attorney for more information and assistance.