Many workers depend on workers’ compensation to help them cover their expenses while they recover from their injuries. For some, however, recovery is not possible. Workers who have permanently damaged their hearing or sight, lost a limb or experienced other permanent damage are often left wondering how long they can rely on their benefits.
The duration of your benefits depends on your injuries.
If you experience a workplace injury, the length of time that you can receive benefits will depend on the location of your injury and the extent of the damage.
For injuries that leave a person entirely unable to work on a permanent basis, often referred to as “permanent total disability,” there is no limit to the number of weeks that they can receive benefits. For example, if a fall from scaffolding at a construction site leaves a worker paralyzed, this injury could have a lifelong impact on their ability to work any job.
Other permanent injuries such as the loss of a finger or a limb may limit a person’s ability to work but they may be able to find employment in another position or other industries. These are usually called “permanent partial disability.” Victims of these injuries can receive workers’ compensation benefits for a specific period based on their loss of wage-earing capacity. Some injuries—called schedule loss of use—are assigned a maximum number of weeks depending on the body part impacted. For injuries not included in this schedule, benefits are payable for a number of weeks that is based on their loss of earning capacity.
If you have questions about how long you will receive benefits after your injury, contact an attorney with experience in workers’ compensation cases. They can help you get the financial support you need after a workplace injury permanently changes your life.