If you’ve been injured in a workplace accident, it is critical that you understand the ins and outs of the workers’ compensation claims process. The benefits received from workers’ compensation depend on the severity of the injuries sustained, as well as the proceeding recovery period. This is to ensure that every injured employee receives appropriate compensation for financial stability during this difficult time. We have outlined the four types of workers’ compensation benefits below to help give you a better understanding of the benefits received following a workplace accident.
Permanent Partial Disability Benefits
Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) benefits are minimal benefits provided if you have sustained serious injuries that resulted in disfigurement, even if you did not miss work.
A person who is found to be permanently partially disabled can get up to 100 weeks of benefits, even if they go back to work, and may potentially be entitled to one of the other three forms of benefits. Your return to work depends on the injury sustained as well as the following recovery process. For instance, an employee may return to work after 30 weeks if there are no complications in the recovery process, whereas the same injury may take 40 weeks for another due to complications during recovery.
Supplemental Earning Benefits
If you’re injured and able to return to work, you can no longer be considered totally temporarily disabled, but you may still be entitled to supplemental benefits. If you earn less than 90 percent of your previous income due to the injury, then you may qualify to receive Supplemental Earnings Benefits (SEB).
Supplemental Earnings Benefits recipients typically need to fill out a labor form each month detailing the amount paid, which is then sent to the employer’s insurance company representative. Supplemental benefits should equal two-thirds of the difference between what was earned prior to the accident and what is currently being earned. However, all cases are unique to a certain set of circumstances which require expert attention to properly navigate.
Permanent Total Disability Benefits
If your injuries prevent you from ever returning to work, you may be entitled to Permanent Total Disability (PTD) benefits. This means that you’ll receive paid benefits weekly for the rest of your life, unless you, somehow, are able to return to employment. The severity of these cases requires a doctor, as well as vocational rehabilitation expert, to agree on the injury being a permanent total disability.
There are certain types of injuries that are presumed to mean that you’re permanently disabled, and they often result in a one-time payment, in addition to weekly benefits. Those who have had serious head injuries, have a history of heavy physical labor or have had multiple spinal surgeries are likely to be deemed permanently disabled; however, it can be tough to prove that a claim is a total permanent disability since there are so many stipulations.
It’s also important to note that if a person seeking workers’ compensation has had a physical disability combined with a mental disability that limits their work, they may be found to be permanently disabled.
Temporary Total Disability Benefits
It’s possible to be totally disabled on a temporary basis. In these cases, Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefits are typically provided. These benefits equal two-thirds of your wages at the time of the injury. However, the levels given to the injured worker are adjusted each year based on how long the person has been receiving TTD benefits.
Benefits should be paid within two weeks of your injury being reported to the employer, and there’s no limit to the amount of time you can receive Temporary Total Disability benefits. While that may be true, many employers expect injured workers to return to work once they’ve reached maximum medical improvement.
Once an injured worker has reached maximum medical improvement, they may not always be able to return to work. In this case, they would be moved to another type of disability benefit, such as Permanent Partial Disability or Supplemental Earnings benefits, based on the position that they’re now able to medically perform.
Workplace accidents can be tricky to navigate alone, which is why you should seek legal counsel as soon as possible. We understand the gravity of your situation, which is why The Law Office of Stephen C. Gaubert will fight to help you maintain your financial stability. Focus on recovery, we’ll focus on the rest.