The laws and procedures associated with collecting workers’ compensation benefits often cause injured workers to forfeit the financial help they need to cope with medical costs and lost wages.
The Cincinnati workers’ compensation lawyers at Young, Reverman & Mazzei have extensive experience helping injured workers from Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky obtain the benefits they need as they recover. If you or a loved one was hurt in a job-related accident or suffers from a work-related illness, please call us today at 513-854-8885 or contact us online for a free consultation.
What is Workers’ Compensation and What Does it Cover?
Workers’ compensation is a specialized type of insurance that provides financial benefits to employees who are injured while on the job or who acquire an occupational illness.
Factors that determine qualifications for workers’ compensation benefits—including the types of injuries or ailments covered—vary by state. States also have different processes and deadlines for seeking workers’ comp benefits. However, all states administer four basic types of workers’ compensation benefits:
This may include money for emergency medical treatment, rehabilitation, medication, lifestyle modifications and long-term care.
This benefit covers lost wages while you’re unable to work, usually at about two-thirds of a worker’s average weekly wage up to a fixed amount. Benefits may also include disability payments, depending on the severity of the injury and the duration of missed work.
If you cannot return to your former job because of the injury or illness, this benefit covers retraining, tuition or other expenses incurred to help you qualify for another job.
In the event a person dies due to a workplace accident or job-related illness, surviving dependents may be eligible to file a death benefits claim through the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance or via the appropriate state workers’ compensation program.
It should be noted that wage replacement is sometimes referred to as “temporary disability benefits.” Disability benefits may also be assigned based on your particular injury or illness in addition to other workers’ compensation benefits and may cover permanent disabilities.
Disability Benefits After a Workplace Injury
The type of disability benefits a worker may qualify for depends on the duration and severity of the disability. Disability benefits are often categorized as:
- Temporary partial disability (TPD): A worker may be eligible for TPD benefits if he or she is temporarily unable to perform at his or her previous level, but can work at a reduced capacity. TPD benefits end when the worker is able to return to his or her previous role.
- Temporary total disability (TTD): TTD benefits are paid when a worker is temporarily unable to return to his or her previous position, or another job for the same company, due to the injury or illness. TTD benefits end when the worker recovers and is able to return to his or her job.
- Permanent partial disability (PPD): PPD benefits apply to workers who are permanently impaired, but who are still able to work in some capacity.
- Permanent total disability (PTD): A worker may qualify for PTD benefits if his or her disability is total and permanent, and prevents him or her from sustained employment.
- Lump-sum settlement award (LSS): In some cases, injured workers and their employers may agree to settle a workers’ compensation claim with a single payment as opposed to installments or monthly support.
Again, workers’ compensation eligibility and benefits categories differ slightly by state.
Workers’ Comp Benefits in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana
Benefits are based on the amount a worker was earning prior to the injury or illness. As noted above, wage replacement is typically two-thirds of a worker’s salary, although states vary somewhat in the actual amount, payment structure, and caps for total workers’ compensation payments:
- In Ohio, benefits are equal to 72 percent of a worker’s average weekly wage during the previous 52 weeks prior to the accident or illness. After 12 weeks, this amount decreases to two-thirds of that amount. The weekly maximum amount paid is currently $751, which is the average weekly wage in Ohio.
- Kentucky pays either two-thirds of a worker’s average weekly rate or two-thirds of Kentucky’s average weekly wage, whichever is lower. Kentucky also does not offer temporary partial disability benefits until a physician determines that further treatment will not improve the injury or illness (which is known as a state of maximum medical improvement, or MMI).
- Indiana pays two-thirds of a worker’s average weekly wage prior to the injury or illness. Depending on the type of disability, the maximum payment period may range upward of 300 weeks.
To learn more about workers’ compensation eligibility and benefits in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana, check out the individual state workers’ comp sites:
- Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation
- Kentucky Department of Workers’ Claims
- Workers’ Compensation Board of Indiana
If you have questions about seeking workers’ compensation benefits or need help appealing a denied benefits claim, it’s a good idea to discuss your situation with a knowledgeable attorney.
Legal Help for Injured Workers
A job-related injury or illness can have life-changing impacts on victims and their families alike. Even a minor injury can result in extensive medical costs and time away from work that can be financially overwhelming.
The personal injury attorneys at Young, Reverman & Mazzei have decades of experience helping injured workers and their families get the financial benefits they need to move forward with their lives. Although you are not required to work with a lawyer to apply for workers’ compensation benefits, a knowledgeable attorney can help ensure that your claim is properly documented and that you receive the maximum benefits available. A lawyer can also help you appeal a rejected claim if your injury or illness is valid under your state’s workers’ compensation laws.
Young, Reverman & Mazzei is based in Cincinnati, but we have office locations throughout the tri-state area of Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. To schedule your free, no-obligation consultation, please call us at 513-854-8885 or contact us online.