If this is your first time reading about workers’ compensation, you are not alone. Most people do not think about workers’ compensation benefits until they’ve been injured. Here is what you need to know about workers’ compensation benefits in Colorado.
In Colorado, all employers with few exceptions are required to provide workers’ compensation benefits to their employees, regardless of whether they are employed full time or part time. Workers’ compensation benefits include:
The first concern many workers’ compensation applicants bring up is medical coverage. Whether you are filing because of an injury or an ongoing condition, you want to know if workers’ compensation will pay the resulting medical bills. If your claim is accepted, workers’ compensation will cover reasonable expenses due to the injury. Of course, sometimes your medical provider and the insurance company may disagree as to whether a particular treatment is necessary. To ensure coverage, you need to be sure all treatments get proper authorization. Your workers’ compensation attorney can help you get the coverage you need for proper treatment.
Sickness or injury can also cost you money by causing you to miss work. Whether you have to stay home for treatment or because the nature of the injury prevents you from working, workers’ compensation benefits can get you wage replacement payments. Temporary disability benefits can kick in when you lose more than three days of work due to your injury.
There are two kinds of temporary disability benefits: Temporary Total Disability (TTD) and Temporary Partial disability (TPD). You may be eligible for TTD if your disability is temporary but you are completely unable to work. TPD may be available if you return to work but cannot work a full schedule or perform all your regular tasks and therefore earn a lower wage.
Some injuries and illnesses are so severe that they cause lasting disability or impairment. In cases where your ability to work will continue to remain affected by your condition, you may be able to receive permanent disability benefits. These are also divided into total and partial disability benefits, depending on whether you have the ability to work at all. To be eligible for permanent disability, you must suffer a permanent loss of function to part of your body. In the case of partial disability, your payments will depend on the percentage of function your doctor deems to be lost. If you receive permanent total disability status, your payments will consist of 2/3 of the average weekly wage for your occupation based on the time of your injury.
Navigating the workers’ compensation system can be complicated and stressful, especially when you are already suffering health problems. Retaining a qualified attorney can relieve you from a lot of the stress involved and get you the financial resources to get through this difficult situation.