WAGE REPLACEMENT BENEFITS
If you have a work-related injury or illness, your employer is required by law to pay for workers' compensation benefits. Wage replacement benefits generally include payments for an employee's temporary disability or permanent disability resulting from a work-related injury.
Temporary Disability Benefits
Temporary disability benefits are payments you get if you lose wages because your work-related injury prevents you from doing your usual job while recovering.
Temporary disability pays two-thirds of the gross (pre-tax) wages you lose while you are recovering from a job injury. However, you cannot receive more than the maximum weekly amount set by law. You should report to the claims administrator all forms of income you receive from work, including wages, food, lodging, tips, commissions, overtime and bonuses. You should also report earnings from work you did at other jobs at the time you were injured.
Temporary disability payments begin when your doctor says you can't do your usual work for more than three days or you get hospitalized overnight. Payments must be made every two weeks. Generally, temporary disability stops when you return to work, or when the doctor releases you for work, or says your injury has improved as much as it's going to.
Permanent Disability Benefits
Permanent disability is any lasting disability from your work injury or illness that affects your ability to earn a living. If your injury or illness results in permanent disability you are entitled to permanent disability benefits, even if you are able to go back to work.
Most workers fully recover from job injuries but some continue to have medical problems. Permanent disability benefits are limited. If you lose income, Permanent disability benefits may not cover all the income lost. If you experience losses unrelated to your ability to work, permanent disability benefits will not cover those losses.
Permanent disability benefits are set by law. Your permanent disability benefit amounts will be determined as follows:
The date of your industrial injury
Your primary treating physician or a doctor who is a qualified medical evaluator (QME) will examine you and determine your impairment level, which means how your injury affected your ability to work
Your impairment level will be expressed as a percentage
The percentage is used in a formula which also includes your age and occupation. For injuries on or after April 19, 2004, and prior to Jan. 1, 2013, the formula also includes diminished future earning capacity
For dates of injury on or after Jan. 1, 2013, PD ratings will no longer take into account an injured employee’s future earnings capacity. In addition, injured employees will no longer be able to collect additional PD for sleep disorders or sexual dysfunction that did not result directly from those injuries. Additional PD for psychiatric injuries is limited to cases in which the physical injury is catastrophic or where the injured employee was the victim of or a witness to a violent crime
A disability evaluator or the judge will calculate this formula and determine how much PD you are entitled to receive.