State Statute Commonalities
Each state has its own set of regulations regarding workers’ compensation benefits, eligibility, appeals, and other aspects of the claims process. While the laws might differ slightly among individual states, they do share similar foundational characteristics.
For example, all states follow common standards for types of disability, namely temporary total disability, temporary partial disability, and permanent partial disability. Also common in all state workers’ compensation legislation is the fact that an employee must be unable to perform his or her job duties, either temporarily or permanently. Most employers will legally be required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, notify new employees of policies, and post state policies in a visible location at the jobsite.
All state workers’ compensation statutes require insurers to cover comprehensive medical expenses related to the illness or injury, including emergency room treatment, in-patient and out-patient care, medication, rehabilitation, surgeries, and adaptive living equipment. For workers who were fatally injured on the job, all states have provisions for providing benefits to surviving dependents and spouses.
Types of Disability
Check with a skilled workers’ compensation attorney near you to get specific information on how your state defines disability and the percentage benefits available based on each type of disability.
Temporary Total Disability: Injured workers who qualify for temporary total disability must be medically unable to perform any type of work available from their employer. The number of weeks one may receive benefits is limited for non-catastrophic injuries, or unlimited for catastrophic injuries.
Temporary Partial Disability: Temporary partial disability benefits are available to workers who are unable to perform their specific job duties now, but can return to work in a lesser capacity until they are fully recovered. Benefits help cover the cost of income difference.
Permanent Partial Disability: Workers who are unable to perform some job duties based on a partial disability can qualify to receive PPD benefits.
Permanent Total Disability: Injured workers with PTD are unable to perform any type of work, even sedentary jobs.
State Laws Regarding Benefit Amount
Hiring an attorney with years of experience helping injured workers can help you better understand your state laws and put you at an advantage during the workers’ compensation benefits claim process.
Litigation may be necessary to prove your injury occurred as a result of a job-related activity if the claim is disputed, or to prove that the injured worker is in fact medically disabled. Your attorney will interpret the laws with your best interests in mind and negotiate an agreeable payment schedule. If your state does not recognize a particular injury or illness, an attorney can work to change this in the legislation and get you covered under your company’s workers’ compensation insurance.