As Tax Season Approaches, Make Sure You Know About Advances in Your Jones Act Injury Case
If you have been injured offshore and are covered by the Jones Act, you are entitled to receive maintenance and cure benefits while you are out of work. While your own life may have come crashing to a halt after your injury, the rest of life raced ahead, including the bills that arrive at your home each month. This creates an enormous amount of pressure for injured seamen to accept any money that comes their way as a result of their workplace injury.
Before You Take Money Related to Your Injury, Ask This Question…
In a time where every cent counts, offers by your employer to give you more money may sound tempting—but remember, everything comes at a cost. Are your wage advances coming at a cost to you after your maritime injury?
Many employers will try to lower your maintenance payments and offer the difference in the form of a payment advance. Not only will some employers try to collect on these advances after your settlement, but unlike maintenance payments, advances are considered wages—and are therefore taxable.
Typically, maintenance payments are treated as workers’ compensation payments, which are not subject to federal income taxes. With tax season just around the corner it is important for injured seamen to ensure that they are receiving the maximum amount possible through their maintenance and cure payments in lieu of wage advances.
While money is money, and you are likely not in a position to turn it down following your devastating offshore injuries, your employer should be paying you what you are entitled to through maintenance and cure alone. Taxes can take a significant chunk out of your paychecks (as we all know), and if income taxes can be at all avoided during your work hiatus, they should be.
Seek the Guidance of an Experienced Jones Act Attorney
No one anticipates being injured on the job, and if you are injured offshore, you will be expected to expertly navigate the complicated legalese of the Jones Act compensation system. With complex rules and deadlines, the odds are stacked against you if this is your first foray into Jones Act law.
Do not put your health and financial future at risk by going it alone. Houston’s own Jones Act attorney Steve Lee has helped injured seamen get the compensation that they deserve for decades, and he can help you, too—pick up the phone today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation now.