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The Types of Disability Benefits Available Under Workers Compensation Laws

If you meet the eligibility requirements for disability under the workers' compensation law, you would be eligible for a range of benefits that are aimed at getting you back to your old, pre-accident self.

But remember that your employer or the insurance company may deny your workers’ compensation claim on various grounds.

If you are unfairly denied the right to benefits under workers' compensation laws, you can talk to a workers' compensation lawyer and seek assistance.

Let us briefly look at the common types of workers' compensation benefits.

Disability benefits Workers compensation laws Medical Treatment

Workers' compensation benefits cover hospital stays and other medical costs needed to diagnose and treat a work illness or injury. Medical benefits often include prescription drugs, doctor visits, and surgeries, though specifics differ from state to state.

If you require special transportation or equipment (like a wheelchair) to help you manage your injury, workers' compensation will pay for it as well. Workers' compensation may occasionally cover services like psychotherapy, pain management, and acupuncture.

Different states have different regulations governing who selects your health care provider—you or your employer—and some states have restrictions on the maximum amount the provider can charge for your care.

Rehabilitation Aids

The medical and therapeutic care (such as physical therapy) required to assist you in managing and recovering from your accident or illness is covered under rehabilitation benefits. They also pay for the treatment and training needed to help you regain the skills required to return to work.

Many states enable vocational rehabilitation or comparable benefits that cover assessment, retraining, tuition, and other costs related to helping you become qualified to work at another job if your accident or illness prevents you from returning to your previous career.

Disability Benefits

Disability benefits are intended to make up for the part of the income you lose when you’re unable to work due to an injury or illness. Depending on whether the limitations are whole, partial, temporary, or permanent, these benefits come into one of four groups.

Temporary total disability stops you from working for a short period of time. When you heal, or your doctors determine that you won't fully recover, your temporary disability benefits end. There are also certain restrictions on temporary disability benefits in certain jurisdictions. These payments make up the great majority of workers' compensation disability claims.

Temporary partial disability stops you from being fully functional for a short period of time. For example, your physician might advise limiting your work hours to four hours each day while you heal from your injuries. In most states, you may be eligible for benefits that help you make up the gap between your pre-injury income and your decreased income.

Disability benefits Workers compensation laws Permanent partial disability includes specific permanent damage due to a workplace accident or illness that partially stops you from being able to work. States usually set a time restriction on the duration of these benefits, even if they are intended to make up for that disability.

Permanent total disability means that the damage is so severe that you can never go back to your previous job. The regulations governing the computation of payments for permanent disability are intricate and differ between states. But, generally speaking, receiving total permanent disability benefits does not require you to be totally disabled or unable to work at all.

Deceased Benefits

Most states offer death benefits to certain relatives (spouses and children, for example) who were financially reliant on deceased employees. This scenario holds good if the employees died as a result of work-related injuries or illnesses.

Death benefits are primarily intended to compensate for the loss of financial assistance for dependent family members, although at least some burial costs are also reimbursed. Most states use the deceased worker's earnings as a percentage to determine this payout. While some jurisdictions offer a flat sum, others set minimum and maximum amounts.

Relationships between dependents and deceased workers can occasionally present challenging legal situations. States differ in what they require of married couples, stepchildren, children born outside of marriage, single partners, and other family members like parents, siblings, and in-laws.

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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 15th June 2024.

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