TN 9 (05-15)
DI 52120.150 Nebraska Workers' Compensation (WC)
The Nebraska WC Court administers WC. WC is provided through private carriers but employers may self-insure.
A. Types of WC payments
Nebraska WC law can be located in Chapter 48 of their Revised Statutes; section 48-121 describes indemnity payments. Nebraska does not pay disfigurement benefits. All periodic payments are subject to the state maximum and minimum amounts. The maximum amount of WC payment is based on the date of injury; the minimum WC payment has been $49 per week since 04/22/1973.
1. Total disability benefits (TT or PT)
These payments are based on 2/3 of the individual’s weekly wage and are paid for the duration of the disability.
2. Partial disability benefits (TP or PP)
These disability benefits are:
TP: Paid when the individual is able to return to work, but under limited circumstances such as for a few hours a day or at a job which pays less than the job held at the time of the injury. TP is paid at the rate of 2/3 of the difference between the wages before and after the injury. TP is limited to 300 weeks.
PP Loss of a Member Benefits: Paid for the loss (or loss of use) of a body part such as a leg or hand based upon the statutory value of the various body parts. These benefits are paid at the rate of 2/3 of the individual's average weekly wage, times the number of weeks of compensation set out in the statutory schedule. These benefits are paid in addition to TT starting upon the termination of TT; they are NOT reduced for TT paid.
PP to the Body as a Whole: Paid for a loss of earning power because of permanent disability resulting from the injury. The WC rate is based on the percentage of disability suffered, times 2/3 of the individual's average weekly wage. These benefits are limited to a maximum of 300 weeks LESS the number of weeks of temporary and permanent disability paid.
3. Lump sum (LS) settlement awards
Copies of voluntary lump sum settlements must be filed with the Nebraska WC Court and approved by them in order to be binding on the parties and terminate the individual's right to any further benefits.
4. Permanent disability WC payments
These payments may be paid in a lump sum, or over a period of weeks.
If permanent disability benefits are paid over a number of weeks without a lump sum settlement, a claim for additional benefits due to increased disability may be made at any time within two years of the date of the last WC payment.
B. Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLA)
Nebraska does not give COLAs on its WC.
C. Attorney fees
Nebraska law does not permit representation by anyone but an attorney or the individual himself. ‘Reasonable’ fees are allowed (generally 20 to 25 percent), and are usually paid by the injured individual.
D. Retirement insurance benefit (RIB) considerations
Nebraska does not offset WC for receipt of RIB.
E. Time limitations for filing claims
There is normally a 6 month time limit for filing a WC claim, or an appeal to the denial of a claim. Claims are generally barred unless the parties agree on the WC payable or one of the parties files a petition within two years after the date of injury (or within two years of the last WC payment made).
F. Verifying WC payment amounts
The disabled individual should always be the first source of verification.
Carrier information is attainable from Nebraska’s WC Court if the employer is known, as insurance companies are required to report to the court each WC insurance policy they issue.
3. Nebraska state online access to WC records
SSA signed an agreement with the state agency for online access to Nebraska’s WC records. Designated SSA personnel in the Regional Offices (ROs), Program Centers (PCs), and Field offices (FOs) can obtain Nebraska WC payment verification from their workstations.
The State of Nebraska requires a “User Name” and “password” to access the NWCC SSA Web Application. FO and PC staff must contact their Regional Administrator to request access. For Administrator access in the RO and PC, please submit your request to ||KC CPS.
G. WC forms
WC forms are only occasionally seen. Documentation is usually received as screen printouts.
1. Form 1: First Report of Alleged Occupational Injury or Illness
This is filed with the WC Court within 10 days after the employer or carrier is given notice or has knowledge of the injury.
2. Form 4: Subsequent Report
This is filed with the WC Court:
within 14 days following the initial payment of WC benefits;
within 14 days following the denial of a claim or a change to a previous report;
following the closing of any case for which benefits have been paid;
within 14 days following payment pursuant to a final order, award, or judgment of the court (including an order approving a lump sum settlement or settlement agreement); and
on the semi-annual anniversary of the date of injury, and every 180 days thereafter, until the case is closed.
3. Record Request Form
This form is NOT used by SSA. For information regarding obtaining proof of Nebraska WC payments from the state, see subsection DI 52120.150F. in this section.
H. Exhibits for Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Court
The exhibits are:
Nebraska WC Court: http://www.wcc.ne.gov/
Nebraska WC Act (Revised Statutes Chapter 48): http://www.legislature.ne.gov/laws/browse-chapters.php?chapter=48