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The Four Steps of Workers' Compensation

The Four Types of Workers' Compensation

In a typical workers' compensation claim, an injured worker will go through four phases of medical and benefits status.

Step One - Total Disability
Immediately after sustaining an injury, an injured worker is frequently unable to perform any type of work. During this time the injured employee will receive what is known as temporary total disability. This benefit will continue until the employees treating physician determines that he or she is capable of doing some type of work.

Step Two - Temporary Partial Disability
If the injured employee partially recovers, i.e., reaches a point where some type of light or restricted duty may be performed but not the employee's regular work, the employee may be eligible for temporary partial disability.

Step Three - Permanent Partial Disability
An injured employee will eventually reach what is known as maximum medical improvement, i.e., where the healing process has plateaued . Frequently these individuals are still not as healthy as they would have been if they had not been injured. When this happens the employee's treating physician will determine whether or not the employee has sustained any permanent loss of use. If the employee's injury results in permanent loss of use, he or she will be compensated for that loss by receiving permanent partial disability.

Step Four - Permanent Loss of Earning Capacity
If the employee reaches maximum medical improvement, but has been left with a permanent loss of earning capacity, he may claim additional benefits. This benefit is awarded at the discretion of the workers' compensation commissioner. If awarded, it may not exceed the number of weeks awarded for permanent partial disability.

Other Benefits
In certain situations there may be other benefits that may be claimed. There may be death or dependency benefits, cost of living adjustments, scarring, mileage, etc. Further, the injured employee may qualify for vocational rehabilitation.

Attorney Ralph A. Russo, as a Board Certified Workers' Compensation Specialist with 25 years of experience, can help guide an injured worker through all phases and help them get the benefits they deserve.

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49 Welles St. #212
Glastonbury, CT 06033

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