If you were injured at work or developed a work-related disease, or someone you loved died from a work injury or disease, you need to know that Missouri workers’ compensation law requires employers to provide workers’ compensation benefits to their employees who are injured at work or who become ill due to the work environment or requirements. If this has happened to you, there are four different types of benefits to which you may be entitled.
Medical coverage is what it sounds like. It covers the cost of your medical bills. This includes:
- Doctor visits.
- Hospital treatments.
- Diagnostic tests.
- At home nursing care if necessary.
- Physical therapy.
- Any durable medical equipment you may need like crutches, a wheelchair, or at home oxygen.
- Prosthetic devices.
Depending on your employer’s specific workers’ compensation policy, there may be some types of care not covered or limited. For example, chiropractic care may not be covered, or it may be covered for a limited number of visits.
Your employer may provide benefits under a managed care plan. That means that you will need to obtain your medical care through your employer’s specified HMO or other provider network. Some insurers require pre-approval for certain procedures.
Disability benefits are designed to compensate you for wages you lost due to your injury. There are four categories of disability:
Temporary total disability.
You are completely unable to work at all, but your condition is expected to be temporary and you will be able to return to work. An example is someone who had back surgery and cannot work at all while it heals but will be able to return to work.
Temporary partial disability.
You are injured, but able to work part-time. For example, you may have broken an arm or leg, but can work part-time while the injury heals.
Permanent total disability.
You were injured in a way that cannot be cured and you can longer perform the job duties of the occupation you were doing at the time of the injury. Examples include losing a limb, a brain injury that affects your cognitive skills, or an injury that results in paralysis.
Permanent partial disability.
Your injury is permanent, such as a hearing or vision loss, and although you will not be able to earn as much as you did before the injury, you will be able to work at some occupation other than the one you were performing at the time of the injury.
The disability benefit you receive will depend on your specific injury, the job you were doing at the time of the injury and other factors unique to your personal situation.
This benefit is required by Missouri law. It may also include payment for transportation to a rehabilitation facility.
Missouri law does not require employers to provide vocational rehabilitation as a workers’ compensation benefit. Some employers do take advantage of adding this coverage to their workers’ compensation insurance policies. Check with your employer to see if the benefit is available. If so, it provides payment for retraining if you are unable to return to your own occupation but can work at some occupation.
If you are the spouse, minor child, or other dependent of a worker who died due to a work-related injury or illness, you are entitled to death benefits through workers’ compensation. This benefit also covers burial expenses.
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If you have any questions or would like to discuss your workers’ compensation benefits, don’t think twice about hiring an experienced personal injury attorney who knows the ins and outs of this type of case.