Workers’ compensation benefits are meant to help employees with their expenses and medical bills after they are injured on the job. However, some types of workers’ compensation benefits have a time limit. After certain amount of time, a worker’s benefits run out.
For many workers, this is not a problem. They get the treatment they need, they spend some time recuperating, and then they return to work long before the benefits expire. If their injuries leave them unable to do the job they did before their accident, their employer should be able to make accommodations for them. However, for those with serious, permanent injuries, time limits in workers’ compensation creates a real problem.
Benefits are about to run out for scores of badly injured District of Columbia employees. The city government is considering new measures that would protect benefits for the workers, who suffered severe injuries at work, including lost limbs. The district’s workers’ compensation program limits benefits to 500 weeks.
Maryland’s workers’ compensation program divides benefits into four major categories based on the severity of the injury. These are: temporary partial disability, temporary total disability, permanent partial disability and permanent total disability.
For the purposes of these categories, the temporary designations are for workers who are expected to recover from their injuries. The permanent designations are for workers who are expected to never fully recover.
Each category has its own limitations. For instance, temporary total disability benefits are for workers whose injuries have left them unable to work at all for a period of time. State law provides a formula for determining the dollar amount of these benefits. They expire after about 14 days. Permanent total disability benefits may last for the rest of the worker’s life, but they are subject to a number of limitations.
An attorney with experience in workers’ compensation law can help workers at many points in the process of applying for and receiving benefits. Injured workers and their families can ask a lawyer to explain how the law may apply to their unique situation, how much they should expect in benefits, and for how long they should expect to keep receiving them.