If you are entitled to Workers Compensation benefits, there are three types of benefits to which you may be entitled. You could be eligible to receive medical care, rehabilitation services or cash payments. Medical care benefits are usually broad in nature, including doctor bills, medication, diagnostic tests and medical equipment. Rehabilitation services often include physical therapy and vocational rehabilitation. Cash payments typically come in the form of compensation for lost wages. As a Joplin workers compensation lawyer can explain, the laws usually differ from one state to the next. For Joplin residents, here is what you need to know about worker’s compensation weekly cash benefits.
What makes you entitled to receive cash benefits?
In most cases, cash payments are provided for injuries that result in temporary total disability. The injured employee receives these weekly payments while they are out of working healing, due to a total inability to earn wages. When the injury results in a permanent impairment, such as a loss of limb, permanent partial disability benefits will be paid after the employee is released to return to work. Cash benefits can also be made to the family of a covered employee who died from his or her injuries.
Joplin workers compensation lawyer gives basics on weekly disability benefits
Disabled employees receive weekly compensation benefits under Worker’s Compensation. The period of time for which an employee can receive these benefits differs from state to state and depending on the type of benefit. To that end, Worker’s Compensation disability is classified as either temporary or permanent, and either total or partial. So, an injured employee could potentially have four different types of disability benefits: temporary total disability, temporary partial disability, permanent total disability, permanent partial disability.
Temporary vs. permanent disability under worker’s compensation
Temporary disability refers to situations where the employee is still recovering but is expected to get better. Permanent disability means that, while the employee’s condition is stable, it is not expected to improve. Permanent disability is sometimes referred to as a point of maximum medical improvement (MMI).
Total vs. partial disability under worker’s compensation
Total disability means that the injured employee is unable to work at any type of employment. On the other hand, partial disability means that the employee has retained some work capacity, for example, the ability to perform light duty work.
What does SAWW refer to?
The State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW) is used to determine the maximum workers’ compensation benefits available for each year. Some states set their rates for the calendar year, while others use the fiscal year. Each state has defined the percentage of an injured employee’s average weekly wage, which will constitute the weekly cash payment to which the employee is entitled. This amount is also based on the type of injury or disability.
Missouri Weekly Wage benefits for 2017
For this current fiscal year, beginning July 1, 2016, and ending June 30, 2017, Missouri’s State Average Weekly Wage is $867.88. Therefore, the maximum weekly benefit rates for an injury or illness occurring on or after July 1, 2016, are as follows:
|Temporary Total Disability||$911.27|
|Permanent Total Disability||$911.27|
|Permanent Partial Disability||$477.33|
When should you hire a Joplin workers compensation lawyer?
If there are any complex issues in your case, the wisest decision is to consult with a Workers’ Compensation attorney. For instance, if your employer denies your claim or you do not receive your benefits, as you should, then an attorney should get involved. Nearly 80% of employees who are injured at work do not appeal the denial of their claim. Consulting a workers’ compensation attorney provides you with the best chance of receiving a fair settlement for your injuries.
When it may be appropriate to represent yourself
Generally speaking, if you suffered a minor workplace injury and missed little or no work as a result, you may be able to successfully represent yourself. Your chances of success increase if your employer does not dispute the injury was work-related and you did not have any pre-existing injuries or conditions that may be relative to your claim.
Is the workers’ comp settlement offer sufficient?
In some cases, an employer will offer to settle a Workers’ Comp claim for an amount that does not actually cover your lost wages and your medical bills. If you are concerned that the settlement offer your employer made is not sufficient, it is a good idea to consult with an attorney. It is not always good to simply allow the Workers’ Comp judge to determine whether the settlement is fair because they typically approve the agreement as long as it isn’t “grossly” unfair.
If you have questions regarding weekly cash benefits or any other Worker’s Compensation issues, contact the experienced attorneys at the Cottrell Law Office at (888) 433-4861.
He is licensed to practice law in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, eastern Arkansas, western Arkansas, and western Missouri. He was Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Crawford County, Kansas from 1987-1989.
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