Most people know that if you are injured on the job in Missouri, then you are entitled to workers compensation benefits. Few people, however, are aware of all the different benefits you may be entitled to. Generally people understand that you are entitled to have your medical bills paid by the employer’s workers compensation insurance company.
Where most folks (and some lawyers) get confused, however, is when we start discussing payment for total disability and partial disability. There are four different kinds of disability that are paid under Missouri’s workers compensation system: temporary total disability, temporary partial disability, permanent total disability, and permanent partial disability.
Temporary total disability is fairly straightforward. If you are unable to work at all while recovering from your work injury, then you are entitled to payment for your lost wages. In Missouri, the amount you are entitled to receive is two-thirds of your average weekly wage. The weekly amount paid, however, cannot exceed a cap, which in 2015 is $886.92 per week.
Temporary partial disability is a little more complicated. Temporary partial disability kicks in when you are able to work while recovering but unable to perform the same job as before the injury. Frequently this is called “light duty.” If your “light duty” job pays less than your pre-injury job, you are entitled to payment of two-thirds of the difference in pay between the two jobs. For example, if you pre-injury job paid $1,000.00 a week, but your “light duty” only pays $700.00, you are entitled to a weekly benefit of $200.00 from the workers compensation carrier. That amount is two-thirds of the $300.00 difference between your pre-injury wage and your light duty wage.
Permanent total disability, much like temporary total disability, is fairly easy to understand. If your work injury is serious enough to prevent you from ever being able to work again, then you are entitled to receive payments in the amount of two-thirds of your pre-injury average weekly wage for the rest of your life, subject to the same weekly maximum as above.
The last benefit, permanent partial disability, is more complicated than permanent total disability. Permanent partial disability is required to be paid when your work injury resulted in a permanent injury that does not prevent you from working in the future. The Missouri Department of Labor publishes a Permanent Partial Disability Schedule that is used to calculate the amount of compensation you are entitled to receive from a work injury that resulted in permanent partial disability. The amount will depend on what part of your body is injured and the severity of the injury. The best way to figure out what your permanent partial disability claim is worth is to speak with a qualified workers compensation attorney.
If you are thinking about pursuing a workers compensation claim, then call us today for a free consultation at (417) 385-1338. Also, feel free to send us a question through our website by clicking here.