What Kinds of Benefits are Available for Workers’ Compensation in Missouri?
Injuries can happen anywhere in Missouri, but many people happen to suffer their injuries while they are on the job and such cases are immediately more complicated because the same people who suffer these injuries have to navigate the Missouri workers compensation system. It is important for all Missouri residents to know that workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance program that entitles people to certain benefits regardless of whether they or their employer caused an accident resulting in injuries.
Anybody who suffers injuries on the job will want to hire a workers compensation lawyer because many insurance companies handling workers’ comp claims try to pay as little as possible to close the cases. You do not have to accept a lackluster settlement, and retaining legal counsel could allow you to pursue other avenues, when necessary, to recover additional compensation.
Missouri Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Missouri Statute § 287.140 provides that an employer must provide for medical, surgical, chiropractic, and hospital treatment, including nursing, custodial, ambulance and medicines reasonably required to treat an injury. Such coverage also includes travel expenses up to 250 miles when treatment occurs outside of a local or metropolitan area.
The Missouri Department of Labor & Industrial Relations further notes that along with coverage for medical treatment, an employer could also be responsible for paying for lost wages, varying disability benefits, and survivor’s benefits. Such benefits work as follows.
When a physician determines that an injured worker cannot return to work because of their injuries or the employee is off work recovering from a surgery, they can be entitled to additional benefits that are paid weekly and are based on two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly wage. When a doctor determines that an injured worker can perform light or modified duty work, the employer could offer such work and the employee may not be eligible for benefits.
Disability benefits continue until an employee returns to work or when treatment has been concluded because an employee has reached maximum medical improvement. Disability benefits typically come in four types:
- Temporary Partial Disability (TPD Benefits) — Temporary partial disability benefits are paid weekly and are two-thirds of the difference between an employee’s average weekly earnings prior to the accident and the amount which the employee will earn during their disability.
- Temporary Total Disability (TTD Benefits) — Temporary total disability benefits are two-thirds of an injured worker’s average weekly wage up to a maximum amount set by the law. Average weekly wages are based on an employee’s gross wages.
- Permanent Partial Disability (PPD Benefits) — Permanent partial disability benefits also pay two-thirds of an employee’s average weekly earnings. When an employee suffers from a permanent partial disability, they could receive a lump-sum payment based upon the amount of disability.
- Permanent Total Disability (PTD Benefits) — When an employee is permanently and totally disabled, they could receive weekly payments for their entire lifetime or they could negotiate a lump-sum settlement. A weekly payment will be two-thirds of an employee’s average weekly earnings at the time of their injury, up to a maximum amount set by law.
People whose loved ones are killed in their line of work could also be eligible for other death benefits in some cases. Benefits are available for survivors of air ambulance registered professional nurses, air ambulance pilots, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, volunteer firefighters, law enforcement officers, and survivors of flight crew members, air ambulance registered respiratory therapists, and public safety officers killed in the line of duty.
Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Consultation with a St. Louis Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Did you recently suffer a serious injury or was your loved one killed while on the job in Missouri? You are going to want to be sure you are working with Bruntrager & Billings, P.C. so you can know that you have qualified legal representation handling your case.
Our firm will be able to conduct our own rigorous investigation into your accident and will know how to fight every step of the way so you are able to recover as much compensation as possible. Call (314) 646-0066 or contact us online to arrange a free consultation with our St. Louis workers’ compensation attorney.