Many people who get hurt on the job only require a few days or a couple of weeks to get back on their feet and back to work. In fact, many workers who need workers’ compensation benefits after a workplace injury are often eager to get back on the job, as convalescence is often a dull process.
For a smaller percentage of injured or sick workers, the consequences of their work-related medical condition will be long-lasting and even permanent. Pennsylvania workers’ compensation provides disability benefits that replace a portion of someone’s wages while they cannot go to work, as well as medical benefits that cover the costs of care someone needs to recover.
Understanding how long those benefits can potentially last can help workers make informed decisions, including whether or not they need to apply for different benefits.
Total disability benefits can last for years
If you suffer an injury so severe that it completely prevents you from returning to work, you may qualify for total disability. However, those benefits don’t continue indefinitely unless you have medical documentation to validate your ongoing need for them. After 104 weeks or two years, you will likely have to have your condition reviewed.
The professional reviewing your case will have to make a determination about the amount of impairment your condition causes. Those with a rating of 35% or higher impairment will likely be able to continue receiving total disability benefits. Those who do not meet that cut off may have to speak partial disability benefits instead.
Partial disability benefits can help when you go back to work
Partial disability often means that you can’t do the same job or certain kinds of physical labor, but you can still earn a wage at a less-demanding job. Unfortunately, those less-demanding jobs will likely pay less money, which could impact your ability to provide for yourself and your family.
Those able to return to some work or who receive a rating of less than 35% impairment will potentially have the right to seek partial disability benefits. Partial disability benefits help cover some of that lost income. In most cases, workers can receive up to 500 weeks of partial disability benefits.