Stimulus checks you receive under the CARES Act will not impact your rights to workers’ compensation benefits.
When the coronavirus began sweeping across the country in March 2020, schools and businesses were forced to shut down in an effort to reduce the spread. If you were previously not working as a result of accidental injuries or occupational illnesses you suffered as a result of your job, these closures did not impact your rights to workers’ compensation benefits in Tulsa.
However, many injured workers have now expressed concerns over whether they will receive COVID-19 related stimulus payments. If they do, they want to know how these checks could impact the amount of workers’ compensation they are entitled to receive.
The CARES Act and Stimulus Checks
Business closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in a historically high number of job losses. Meanwhile, stay-at-home orders that were issued in an attempt to ‘flatten the curve’ of the virus sent the economy reeling. To provide relief for affected workers and an economic boost, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by the House of Representatives and signed into law by the President on March 27, 2020.
While other relief packages had already been put in place, the CARES ACT was the first to provide immediate, direct benefits to individual citizens across the U.S. These included a one-time stimulus payment. The amount you are entitled to receive depends on your income and the number of people in your household:
- Single individuals may receive $1,200;
- Married couples may receive $2,400;
- Parents with dependents are entitled to $500 per child.
- Tax returns for 2018 and 2019 must show yearly income of less than $99,000 for individuals and up to $198,000 for joint filers.
You are still entitled to a stimulus payment if workers’ compensation is your only income. If you have supplemental income, your benefits will NOT be included in income limits, as workers’ compensation benefits are not taxable.
Stimulus Checks and Workers’ Compensation
In order to qualify for workers’ compensation in Oklahoma, you must have been injured on the job or suffered an illness that was work-related. Workers’ compensation benefits are based on your average weekly income and generally represent 70% of your wages.
Any supplemental income you earn on the side or other types of benefits you receive must be reported to the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC), as they would likely reduce the amount in your weekly benefit check. COVID-19 stimulus payments are unique and not subject to these rules. The check you receive does not have to be reported to the WCC nor will it reduce your workers’ compensation benefits.
Our Tulsa, OK Workers’ Compensation Attorneys are Here to Help You
Workers’ compensation provides a lifeline if you are unable to work due to job-related injuries or illnesses. At Boettcher, Devinney, Ingle & Wicker, we help ensure you get the benefits you deserve. Contact our Tulsa, OK workers’ compensation attorneys online to request a consultation today.