Along with coverage for medical treatment received by the injured worker, the employer may also be responsible for paying for lost wages, varying disability benefits and survivor’s benefits. The doctor’s evaluation of the injured worker’s medical condition will help determine the employee’s eligibility to receive certain benefits.
If the doctor determines that the injured worker is unable to return to work due to their injuries or the employee is off work recovering from a surgery, they may be entitled to temporary total disability (TTD) benefits. Benefits are generally paid weekly and should be based upon two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly wage. If the doctor determines that the injured worker can perform light or modified duty work, the employer may offer such work and the employee may not be eligible for TTD benefits. These benefits can be continued until the employee returns to work or when treatment has been concluded because the employee has reached “maximum medical improvement”.
Permanent partial disability (PPD) means that the employee’s work injury affects their ability to do some jobs or work tasks but they are still able to work at some job (not necessarily the job they had at the time of injury). Permanent total disability (PTD) means that the employee is no longer able to work at any job. If the employee’s last work-related injury alone causes their permanent total disability, they may be entitled to weekly payments for life from the employer and its insurer, or they may want to negotiate a lump-sum settlement instead of the weekly lifetime payment.
Compensation is not paid for the first three days an employee is unable to work. Unless the employee is unable to work for more than 14 consecutive days, then the “three-day waiting period” is also paid. Disability payments and medical bills are paid by the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance.
Temporary Partial Disability
These benefits are generally paid weekly and should be 66 2/3% of the difference between the employee’s average weekly earnings prior to the accident and the amount which the employee, in exercise of reasonable diligence, will be able to earn during the disability.
Temporary Total Disability
The benefits provided for temporary total disability are calculated at 66 2/3% of the injured worker’s average weekly wage, not to exceed a maximum amount set by the law. The average weekly wage is based on the employee’s gross wages.
Permanent Partial Disability
These benefits are calculated at 66 2/3% of the employee’s average weekly earnings as of the date of the injury. However, if the employee suffers from a permanent partial disability, they may receive a lump-sum payment based upon the amount of disability.
Permanent Total Disability
If the employee is permanently and totally disabled, they may receive weekly payments for their lifetime, or they may negotiate a lump-sum settlement. The amount of the weekly payment is based upon 66 2/3% of employee’s average weekly earnings at the time of the injury, not to exceed a maximum amount set by law (this maximum amount is much higher than the maximum amount for partial disability).
Emergency Personnel Killed in the Line of Duty
Benefits are available for survivors of firefighters, volunteer firefighters, law enforcement officers, air ambulance pilots, air ambulance registered professional nurses, and emergency medical technicians who are killed in the line of duty when:
- death is caused by an accident or willful act of violence of another;
- the individual is in the active performance of his/her duties and there is a relationship between the accident or commission of the act of violence and the performance of the duty, even when off duty;
- the individual is traveling to or from employment; or the individual is taking a meal break or other break while on duty;
- the injury is the cause of the death. See the Line of Duty Compensation Act Section 287.243 RSMo.
A $25,000 death benefit shall be awarded to the estate of the individual killed in the line of duty. The death benefit is in addition to any other pension rights, death benefits, or other compensation to which the claimant may otherwise be entitled by law. To claim benefits, the estate of the deceased must file a Claim for Compensation with the Division within one year from the date of death.