If you were involved in an accident at work, you may already know that workers' compensation provides wage replacement and medical payments to cover the costs of a job-related injury. However, Rhode Island employees may also collect disability benefits from the workers' compensation system, as well as funds for retraining if they need to transition to another job.
Categories and Limits of Disability Benefits in Workers' Compensation
The workers’ compensation system was created to allow employees who have suffered an injury that qualifies for benefits to get the medical care they need and return to work as easily as possible. Workers’ compensation also provides vocational rehabilitation services such as career reassessment, job placement, and counseling if an employee cannot go back to his old job.
If a worker is unable to perform any work at all due to the complications of an injury, he may qualify for disability benefits. Workers’ compensation offers a variety of disability benefits, including:
- Permanent total disability. Permanent total disability benefits (PTD) are paid to injured workers who will never return to any type of employment. These benefits are paid at 75% of the worker's average weekly wage (AWW) and may continue as long as the person remains totally disabled.
- Permanent partial disability. Permanent partial disability (PPD) is paid to workers who are not completely unable to work but have suffered some kind of permanent limitation on their earning capacity. Benefit amounts depend on whether the worker has suffered a scheduled or non-scheduled and generally continue for a maximum of 312 weeks or until the person is no longer considered disabled.
- Temporary partial disability. Temporary partial disability (TPD) is available to employees whose injuries prevent them from earning pre-injury level of wages. Benefits are calculated at 75% of the difference between the worker's regular earnings before and after the injury.
- Temporary total disability. Temporary total disability (TTD) applies when a worker may be completely unable to work but is expected to return at some point. Benefits are paid at 75% of the employee’s regular earnings, with an additional amount available for each dependent. These benefits begin on the fourth day of missed work and continue until the employee is able to return to work.
The attorneys at Kirshenbaum & Kirshenbaum have been helping people get their rightful benefits since 1933, and we can help you. We focus on the legal issues, working hard to win your case while you take the time you need to heal. Simply fill out our online contact form to set up your initial consultation.