Our Wisconsin Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Explain the Different Types of Benefits You Can Receive for a Work-Related Injury
If you have suffered a work-related injury or illness, you may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation through your employer’s insurance coverage. These benefits can provide weekly payments to account for wage loss, medical bills, and other related costs.
However, the type of benefits you’re entitled to can be difficult to determine and will depend on the nature of your claim. Our Wisconsin workers’ compensation attorneys at Fitzgerald & Bomier have provided an overview of the basic types of workers’ compensation benefits available.
Types of Benefits
Workers’ compensation is a state-mandated program that provides payments required by law to employees who become injured or disabled in connection to their job.
Each state has its own specific rules and the details can get complicated. In the state of Wisconsin, you can receive the following types of benefits through workers’ comp:
- Reasonable and necessary medical treatment
- Temporary disability
- Permanent disability
The maximum amount you are able to receive also varies from state to state. Wisconsin sets a weekly maximum benefit amount every year. In 2019, for example, you can receive up to $1,016 per week.
If you become injured or ill due to your job, workers’ compensation benefits should cover any expenses that arise from reasonable and necessary medical care. Depending on your situation, this can include emergency room care, doctor’s visits, X-rays, medication, surgeries, rehabilitation, and any equipment (such as a wheelchair). Transportation costs to and from your medical appointments may also be covered.
Generally, any medical treatment your doctor recommends as necessary to heal your work-related injury or illness will be covered under workers’ compensation.
Workers’ comp can also provide temporary disability benefits while you are recovering from your occupational injury. These benefits are intended to account for lost wages during the time your condition prevents you from working. Temporary disability benefits fall under two categories, depending on whether your injury is totally or partially disabling.
Temporary Total Disability (TTD)
You may be eligible for TTD benefits if your work-related injury or illness temporarily prevents you from performing the job you held before or any other type of work under the same employer for which you are qualified.
Workers can receive TTD benefits until they either return to work or reach maximum medical improvement (MMI). MMI is the point at which your doctor determines your condition will not improve any further with treatment. TTD benefits are two-thirds of your average weekly wage, up to the states maximum benefit amount of $1,016 per week.
Temporary Partial Disability (TPD)
If, on the other hand, you can return to work before reaching MMI, you may be able to receive TPD benefits under workers’ comp. TPD is intended to provide partial benefits for an injured worker whose condition doesn’t completely prevent them from working but limits their work responsibilities and pay. In other words, if you return to work for less than your pre-injury wage due to your work-related injury, you may be eligible for TPD benefits.
TPD benefits are calculated as two-thirds of the difference between your pre-injury and post-injury weekly wages.
Similar to temporary disabilities, permanent disability payments fall under two categories, depending on whether your work-related injury is totally or partially disabling.
Permanent Total Disability (PTD)
You may be entitled to PTD benefits if your injury or illness is so extensive that it prevents you from ever returning to your job. After your doctor has determined that you have reached MMI, you will be evaluated for a permanent disability.
Serious injuries, such as the loss of both eyes, arms, or legs, are considered to be permanently and totally disabling. In this case, workers’ comp would provide PTD benefits. These benefits are paid at two-thirds of the average weekly wage you were earning prior to your injury. Like TTD benefits, your PTD benefits are also subject to the 2019 maximum weekly benefit amount of $1,016.
Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)
PPD benefits are available for workers who have experienced some type of permanent damage from a workplace injury or illness that partially hinders their ability to work.
Although these benefits are intended to account for this permanent damage, Wisconsin places limits on how long PPD payments will last. There are two types of PPD benefits: scheduled loss and unscheduled loss. Instead of basing your benefit amount on your average weekly pre-injury wage, a weekly rate is set for both scheduled and unscheduled losses each year.
Scheduled loss PPD benefits cover injuries that involve the amputation or lost functional use of body parts listed in Wisconsin’s Permanent Partial Disability Schedule. You can find the full schedule on the Wisconsin Division of Workers’ Compensation website.
If your disability involves a body part not listed on the schedule, you may be eligible for unscheduled loss PPD benefits. Once you reach MMI, your doctor will determine your percentage of lost body function. This number will then be used to calculate your unscheduled loss benefit amount.
If a worker dies as a result of a work-related injury or illness, their dependents (spouse, children) may be able to receive death benefits under workers’ comp. These benefits are meant to compensate family members who were dependent on the deceased employee for their loss of financial support.
The amount of benefits family members are eligible to receive is calculated as a percentage of the worker’s annual wages up to the state’s maximum limit of $1,016 per week.
The workers’ comp insurance company will also pay up to a certain amount for the deceased worker’s funeral and burial expenses.
Understanding Your Workers’ Comp Benefits
Calculating the type and amount of benefits you’re entitled to after an occupational injury or illness can get complicated. If you have any questions about your eligibility or filing for workers’ comp benefits, it is in your best interest to contact a knowledgeable attorney. Moreover, if your employer or their insurance company disputes your right to benefits, you should consult a legal professional with experience handling workers’ compensation claims.
At Fitzgerald & Bomier, our Wisconsin workers’ compensation attorneys have over 35 years of experience assisting injured workers in the Fox Valley and throughout Northeast Wisconsin. We understand the specific challenges injured workers face and are here to address any questions or concerns you have after suffering an injury in the workplace.
Call our law office today at (800) 928-2667, or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation. We’ll evaluate your claim and help you receive the full amount of benefits you deserve.