You probably know that Oklahoma Workers Compensation gives benefits to employees who have been injured at work or who are suffering from an occupational illness. If you have been injured at work, you might be wondering exactly what those benefits are and which benefits may be available to you. Workers compensation provides a no-fault remedy for injured workers, meaning that the employer's insurer provides medical benefits and income assistance to employees hurt on the job, even if the accident or injury was not caused by an employer's negligence.
The specific benefits you may receive from a Workers Compensation Claim may vary depending on the nature and severity of your injury, illness, or condition. Following are some common Workers Compensation benefits to which Oklahoma employees are entitled:
Virtually all injured employees covered by Workers Compensation insurance receive medical care as a benefit. For those whose injuries are severe enough to require more than three days off work, or whose injuries prevent them from performing their job duties even after Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) has been reached, income benefits take the form of Temporary Total Disability, Temporary Partial Disability, and Permanent Partial Disability benefits.
Temporary Total Disability (TTD) Benefits
If your Workers Compensation injury prevents you from returning to work in any capacity for more than three days, you are likely eligible for Temporary Total Disability benefits. TTD benefits are payable for up to 156 weeks or until a physician clears the injured employer to work. If you have not filed a Workers Compensation claim, your employer may terminate TTD benefits at any time; filing a claim limits the employer's ability to do so. In some cases, a compensation extension may be granted, allowing an employee to receive TTD benefits for up to 300 weeks. Workers comp laws set TTD benefits at 70% of an employees average weekly wage, with a maximum benefit of $716/week.
Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) Benefits
If your injury allows you to return to work, but only in a limited capacity, you may be eligible for Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) benefits. For example, if you must work shorter hours or at a lower paying position until you are recovered, TPD benefits can make up the difference between your reduced income and the TTD rate of 70% of your average weekly income prior to your injury. If your change in duties or workload does not impact your income, you are not eligible for TPD benefits.
Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) Benefits
Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) benefits are payable to employees who suffer a permanent disability that prevents them from regaining full function. PPD benefits are calculated through a complex formula that determines a percentage of disability based on the employee's loss of function.
PPD benefits are calculated at 70% of an employees average weekly wage with a minimum weekly PPD benefit of $150 and a maximum benefit of $323.
The percentage of disability determines the PPD benefit an employee receives and how long the worker is entitled to that benefit. While PPD benefits usually take the form of weekly income payments, a workers' compensation attorney may be able to request a lump sum payment on behalf of the injured worker.
- Current and future medical care and medical expenses
- Weekly income benefits of 70% of your average weekly wage
- Temporary partial disability benefits for an injury that requires more than 3 days off work
- Permanent partial disability benefits
- Death benefits for surviving spouse and dependents, including lump sum payment, weekly income benefits, and compensation for financial loss