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  #1  
Old 2nd May 2018
OliverH OliverH is offline
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Default Accident at work - still riding though! +quick tax question

Hi all

A few weeks back I had a very slight accident at work that's left most the bone in my left leg shattered. I was gutted going to the hospital from that because I had to leave my bike at work, but a few weeks later and I'm back on it! It's definitely a challenge but I'm coping well - definitely could've come out worse! Anyway I was hoping someone could answer a quick question for me - I am currently on paid leave because I can't work properly, and I was wondering if that is taxed as normal? I'm on about 60% of my normal wages according to this after tax calculator and my wallet is starting to shrink very quickly. I was wondering if there was any benefits I would be able to claim temporarily, or some advice to help me get my living costs down? I don't want to break into savings or get the credit card out because I know that'll just make a bigger problem than it's worth. Hoping someone can help me out though

Thanks in advance!
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Old 2nd May 2018
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I think you'll have to check with your employer regarding the disability pay and how it is taxed. I would expect it to be taxed normally though and the benefit simply isn't full salary. That's why some places offer additional disability insurance, or people pay for it themselves (think AFLAC and those commercials with the annoying duck or swan or whatever the heck it is).

If you itemize come tax time, and continue to do so under the new tax act, you MAY be able to deduct your medical expenses, at least any that exceed 7.5% of your income for the year. That might be a small help. But then again hopefully your out of pocket isn't that much on the medical side, especially if it's Workman's Comp (which I kinda assume that's what taking care of both the medical and disability payments).

But I think that right now you're going to want to try and shrink your expenses if you can.

Oh and sorry to hear - and HEAL WELL!
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Old 2nd May 2018
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A shattered leg does not seem like a slight accident however glad to hear you are up and about.

As Bone said, check with your employer and possibly even a tax accountant in your state.

However, doing a quick google search, it depends on who paid for the disability insurance. If your employer paid for it then it likely is taxable because it is a benefit you receive from work. If you paid for it then it may not be taxable because you paid for the coverage with after tax dollars.
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Old 2nd May 2018
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If it was an accident at work and it was due to negligence on the part of your employer or a subcontractor, then aside from your normal workman's comp and medical expenses you could be due other compensation. This could equal or exceed your offset or loss during this time. If you were at fault or violated safety regulations then pushing the issue could result in losing your job (legally).

If this work related accident resulted in transport and hospitalization they would be required to notify OSHA (or your Sates equivalent) within 24 hours. If the OSHA investigator finds any actionable violations it will greatly increase your success. It may require an attorney, if so make sure it is one specializing in work related injury and gives a free initial consultation. They should waive all payment unless they get a settlement and usually the fee is 30-33% of the settlement (some tack on expenses so be sure to ask that).

Keep a detailed log of all expenses that were out of pocket and you wouldn't normally incur, as well as any decreases in life style or other inconveniences as a result of the injury. Some states are strict liability and will only pay financial loss while others compensate for pain and suffering. This is all the stuff a good attorney will know (or you could research).

I am not a lawyer (but would like to play one on TV), but seriously I have a degree in law and worked as a paralegal investigator and deputy coroner so I have had some experience. Good luck, keep detailed records and don't sign anything from the company, insurance company or accept any compensation until your injury is completely healed. If they pressure you then get an attorney.
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