For many injured workers who are collecting benefits, there is a significant concern over what happens when they return to work. Especially if you have to return to work but you are still disabled and have to take a lower paying job.
Does Workers' Compensation Cover Partial Disability?
The short answer is: yes. However, there are some details that are important to understand. If you have been injured on the job, one of the most critical initial steps is to talk with an experienced injury attorney who can explain the law, help you through the process of obtaining benefits and protect your interests.
What Is Permanent Partial Disability?
Partial disability refers to a disability that will remain with an injured party for an extended time, but is not total disability. In other words, the injured person can still return to work.
It is important to note that returning to work does not necessarily mean returning to the same work you were doing before suffering the injury. In many cases, injured parties have to return to work doing a different, often lower-paying, job.
You Can Continue Receiving Benefits
The good news is that you are able to keep receiving benefits even after you return to work. However, there are some limitations:
- You cannot receive the full amount of your benefits: Obviously, since you are returning to work and earning a wage, you will not be able to get the full measure of your benefits. Benefits in this situation are calculated at 2/3 the difference between what you were earning before the injury and what you are earning upon return.
- Your benefits will not last forever: Partial disability benefits can last up to 500 weeks maximum. Although these weeks do not have to be consecutive, your benefits will end after that 500 week period has run.
- There are no guarantees: These are general guidelines, but how your case plays out will be determined in large part by the judge's discretion.
It is critical to work with a team of experienced attorneys. Workers' compensation can be extremely complicated, but a lawyer who handled these cases can help you through the process to make sure you get the best compensation award available.