You’re here because you or someone you love was hurt on the job—perhaps in a way that will impact them for the rest of their life. Workers’ compensation benefits exist to provide the care you need when going back to work is not an option.

Answering the question “What are workers’ compensation benefits” is easier said than done. Every state has small differences in which benefits are offered and how to qualify for benefits; but despite the differences, most workers’ compensation programs offer these core benefits.

Workers’ Compensation Disability or Impairment Benefits

There are 4 subcategories of disability/impairment benefits:

  • Temporary Total Disability (TTD) – TTD is a benefit paid until you are able to return to work. It is paid to you during the period that you are totally disabled. Once you have medically recovered and are no longer disabled, this payment ceases.
  • Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) – TPD is a benefit that is paid to you while you are partially disabled. If, for example, you are able to return to work on a part-time basis, but cannot work full time due to your disability or continuing rehabilitation, you will receive a TPD payment. This will be a portion of the full amount of your weekly gross earnings.
  • Permanent Partial Impairment (PPI) – PPI is a payment that is made in addition to your temporary disability benefits. Your doctor may determine that you are medically recovered, however, you may have some permanent physical loss (such as amputation or loss of use of a body part). This payment is based on the percentage of loss determined by your doctor and then a rate is determined based on the estimated amount of lost wages. This payment can be made in a lump sum or in increments depending on the laws in your state of residence.
  • Permanent Total Disability (PTD) – PTD is a benefit that is paid to you if your injury has disabled you in such a way that you are no longer able to earn a regular income. PTD is determined based upon the nature of the injury, the degree of physical impairment, age, education, work history, and the injured worker’s ability to be retrained and the availability of suitable work in the geographic area of the worker’s residence. PTD benefits are paid until death.

Death Benefits

In the case of a work-related death, the insurer will pay for a portion of funeral expenses and a payment to the employee’s surviving spouse and dependents. The amount of these payments varies depending on your state of residence. In addition to these payments, weekly payments will also be made to the employee’s dependents at the PTD rate for a certain amount of time depending on the status of the survivor.

  • Medical Benefits – Providers of workers’ compensation insurance are obligated to pay for medical expenses. Insurers usually pay for all medical care until the injured worker has recovered from the injury.
  • Reemployment Benefits – This is a benefit that is paid to the injured worker incrementally or in a lump sum to either retrain for a new occupation or as a “job dislocation” compensatory payment.

Who Decides if I Qualify?

In most cases, the insurance provider will evaluate your initial claim and decide if you qualify. Some states review initial workers’ compensation claims through their respective workers’ compensation review boards and make a determination.

Not all states review initial workers’ compensation claims. Many only require the workers’ compensation review board to engage in disputed claims. If a claim has been denied by an insurance company, and the injured worker disputes this decision or files an appeal, it is usually the workers’ compensation review board that mediates and ultimately makes a determination regarding the case.

If you are filing an initial workers’ compensation claim or if you have a claim that has been denied, click here to start your free benefits evaluation and see if you may qualify for legal assistance. An advocate in our network can review your claim paperwork in person and answer your questions privately for free.

Get Your Free Workers’ Compensation Evaluation