If you are injured in a workplace accident and are unable to work, you are probably entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
Depending on the circumstances of your injury, the severity of your injury, how it affects your ability to work, and your doctor’s diagnosis, the type of workers’ comp benefits you receive will be different.
Temporary total disability
If you have suffered a work-related injury and your doctor determines that you are unable to work, or are recovering after surgery and cannot work during recovery, you may qualify for temporary total disability. Once you have recovered sufficiently and your doctor decides you can return to work and your condition has reached “maximum medical improvement,” the workers’ comp benefits will be concluded.
Temporary partial disability
If your employer finds another job that you are able to perform and your doctor determines that this is appropriate for your health, you would not receive temporary total disability. You may be entitled to temporary partial disability benefits if you return to work in a job that is modified or lighter than usual at less than full pay. In a situation like this, workers’ compensation law requires these benefits be paid to you.
Permanent partial disability
If your injury affects your ability to perform your particular job, or if you are still able to work but are unable to perform certain tasks, it is very likely that you are entitled to permanent partial disability benefits.
Permanent total disability
If you are unable to work in any capacity or return to your job after your injury, you will usually be entitled to permanent total disability benefits. Permanent total disability benefits are weekly payments or a lump sum that you receive from your employer and insurer because you are unable to work due to your workplace injury. These payments will be issued on a weekly basis for the remainder of your life (unless you negotiate a lump sum payment). These cases can become complicated if you are permanently disabled due to the combination of a workplace injury and other disabilities that you had prior to your work injury. In this instance, your employer would probably only be responsible for paying you permanent partial disability benefits. In order to receive additional payments, you must file a claim for compensation against the Second Injury Fund for permanent total disability payments.
Before workers’ comp benefits are paid to workers who are unable to perform their jobs, there is a three business day waiting period. But if the period of time you are unable to work is longer than 14 days, you will usually be compensated for that three day waiting period. Also, note that workers’ comp payments are tax free. You should contact your employer’s insurance company if you do not receive your disability payments in a timely manner or if you begin receiving bills. The insurance company should be covering your medical expenses.
Missouri Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
If you have not received benefits, are having trouble with a claim, or have questions about filing a workers’ comp claim, contact the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann. For more than 20 years we have been working to insure that the rights of injured Missouri workers are protected.