Workers Compensation Laws in New Mexico

In New Mexico, employers are required to provide worker's compensation insurance for their employees. There's a competitive state fund available for this, or employers can self-insure, choose a private carrier, or insure through groups of employers. Employers with fewer than 3 employees, unless they are in the the construction industries, are not required to purchase worker's compensation insurance. Those who employ agricultural worker or domestic workers are also not required to provide worker's compensation insurance, though they may do so voluntarily.

Benefits

An injured employee can receive full medical benefits with no time or spending limits.  The employer chooses the care provider.  

Payments for permanent total disability may continue for the lifetime of the workers.  Payments for temporary total disability may continue for the duration of the employee's disability. Permanent partial disability payments may continue for up to 500 weeks, although more severe injuries and disabilities can see those payments last for up to 700 weeks.  Mental disabilities are subject to shorter maximums.

New Mexico also allows benefits for serious and permanent disfigurement of the face or head, physical and vocational rehabilitation and occupational hearing losses.

Rates

The percentage of a worker's wage used to determine weekly benefits is sixty-six and two-thirds percent, or 2/3 of the worker's wages. This same percentage is used for permanent and temporary total disability, as well as permanent partial disability.  

The minimum weekly payment for all three of those classifications is $36 or actual wage if less than this amount.  The maximum weekly payout for all three disabilities is 635. 46.  The maximum payout over a period of 500 weeks for permanent partial disability is $444,822.

Death and Legal Benefits

A percentage of the employee's wages is used to figure the death benefit payable to a spouse or spouse and children for an employee who dies as a result of job-related injuries.  There is no minimum benefit, and these benefits include a burial allowance.

A statute limits the amount of attorney fees that may be added to a worker's compensation award to $16,500.

Special Circumstances

If an employee is entitled to both unemployment benefits and worker's compensation benefits at the same time, the unemployment benefit becomes the main benefit, and disability benefits will supplement that. The total amount of weekly benefits from both sources combined cannot exceed the amount the worker would draw under the total disability benefits alone.

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