If you’ve been injured or became seriously ill after a work-related accident or incident in the state of Missouri, you’re entitled to workers’ compensation benefits that can help you take care of yourself and your family while you recover. If your injuries are severe and you require an extended amount of time off work or are no longer able to work, you become eligible to receive workers’ compensation disability benefits.
There are three benefit types available to all Missouri employees that vary based upon the type of benefits you require: Permanent total disability, permanent partial disability, and temporary disability. By law, most workplaces and business are required to offer all three. In regards to permanent partial disability, an injured worker is eligible for permanent partial disability benefits for an injury that includes the permanent loss of use or limited use of a body part or bodily function.
Facts About Permanent Partial Disability Benefits
- In Missouri, permanent partial disability wage rates are determined by statute. Employers are required to use the wage statements for the 13 weeks before the injury to calculate what wage rate to apply when determining benefits. Sometimes these rates can be miscalculated or mistaken. It is important that an experienced attorney review these calculations to make sure you are getting the amount you deserve under Missouri law.
- Permanent partial disability benefits are tax free.
- Permanent partial disability benefits are affected by the location of the injury on your body. There are numbers assigned to each body part. See the body chart here.
Permanent Partial Disability Requirements
As an example, if you seriously injured your hand in a work accident and had to have it amputated, you might still be able to work but with a few limitations on what you could do. This might entitle you to receiving permanent partial disability benefits in addition to being able to work part time or full time but with task restrictions in place. Your benefits would most likely run out after a certain period of time in order to give you time to adjust and work with your new arm.
Compensation for these injuries is calculated according to a complex formula that is set by Missouri statute. Part of this formula includes a calculation of your wage rate, the area or areas of the body where the injury was sustained, and a disability rating provided by a doctor. Wage rate calculations can be complicated and are best reviewed by a Columbia, MO permanent partial disability lawyer to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Another complication to these cases is the determination of where the injury occurred on your body. According to Missouri workers’ compensation guidelines, no two body parts are equal in regards to how they are used while working. For reference, the body chart shows numbers that are assigned to each body part. These numbers are used to predict how many weeks your disability benefits should continue.
The formula in its entirety can be heavily affected by the doctor’s rating. Many of the doctors providing these ratings are selected by the employer or workers’ compensation insurance provider which means the ratings may turn out lower than what you deserve, thereby decreasing your benefit amount or the length of time you receive the benefits for.
An Experienced Columbia, MO Permanent Partial Disability Lawyer Can Make a Difference
Because of how varied and complex the Missouri disability statute formula can be, it’s important that you know your rights and obtain the maximum compensation allow for your injury. Workers’ compensation insurance providers and employers can hesitate to give you what you deserve, but with the help of a Columbia, MO permanent partial disability lawyer, you can get the financial compensation you need to continue recovering while still being able to take care of your loved ones.
Thomas Law Offices has experience with winning complicated Missouri workers’ compensation cases and will do everything we can to fight for your full benefit amount. Contact our office today to learn more or receive a free case consultation.