Helping Injured Workers Recover Benefits
Employers in Kentucky are required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance, which is designed to provide for medical treatment and income benefits for employees who have suffered an injury while on the job. Under Kentucky law, an injured worker must proceed with a claim through an administrative agency called the Department of Workers’ Claims.
The workers’ compensation system was designed to give injured workers access to medical treatment after an injury and provide monetary benefits to support injured workers and their families while recovering and because of restricted work. The system was also created to avoid litigation between an employee and their employer.
Further, there are additional benefits based on the injured worker’s level of disability (partial or total), which results from the effects of the injury. Unfortunately, injured workers are sometimes prevented from gaining access to workers’ compensation benefits for various reasons, including having their claims denied by workers’ compensation insurance carriers, being refused access to benefits in a timely manner, or denying authorization for recommended medical treatment.
I fight to help injured workers of this commonwealth gain access to the benefits they are entitled to as well as protect their right to medical treatment for their work-related injuries.
4 Types Of Workers’ Comp Benefits You May Be Entitled To Recover
I. Medical Treatment
Under the law, injured workers are entitled to all necessary and reasonable medical treatment for the relief or cure of their injury or injuries. The workers’ compensation carrier is required to pay for the treatment to the injured worker, but not allowed to charge copays or deductibles.
Applicable medical treatment includes:
- Doctor’s visits
- Diagnostic tests
Travel to and from medical appointments is also reimbursed.
If the worker is found to have a compensable work-related injury, workers’ compensation will provide medical coverage for as long as the injured worker needs necessary and reasonable treatment.
II. Temporary Total Disability Benefits
While completely restricted from work after suffering an injury or under light-duty restrictions the employer is unable to accommodate, an injured worker is entitled to temporary total disability (TTD) benefits paid weekly at two-thirds of the injured worker’s preinjury average weekly wage up to a state maximum level. These benefits are paid until an injured worker returns to work or is placed at maximum medical improvement by a physician, indicating they are at a level of recovery where no further improvement is expected.
III. Permanent Total Disability Or Permanent Partial Disability Benefits
If, as a result of a work-related injury, an individual is unable to perform regular and sustained employment, (i.e., cannot return to any type of work on a regular basis), they may be entitled to permanent total disability (PTD) benefits, which are paid weekly at two-thirds of the preinjury average weekly wage up to a state maximum level until the claimant turns 70 years old or 4 years’ worth of benefits, whichever period is longer.
If an injured worker is able to return to work following recovery from their injury, they may be entitled to permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits, which are calculated based on an impairment rating assessed by a physician as a result of the injury. The impairment rating is inserted into a mathematical formula that takes into account the level of impairment, (the higher the impairment, the greater the benefits), as well as the injured worker’s age, education, post-injury wage level and whether the worker can physically return to the job he/she was performing when injured. PPD benefits are paid weekly for 425-520 weeks, depending on the level of impairment.
If a claim does not settle and is submitted to an administrative law judge to decide an injured worker’s entitlement to benefits, the judge can only award weekly benefits as set forth above. If, however, a settlement is reached, the benefits may be paid in a lump sum at a “present value” rate.
IV. Vocational Rehabilitation
If an injured worker lacks the physical capacity to return to the type of work he/she was performing when injured and lacks transferable job skills to obtain other employment within their restrictions, the administrative law judge has the discretion to award vocational rehabilitation, ordering the employer/workers’ compensation carrier to pay to retrain/educate the injured worker.
If you have been injured as the result of a traumatic event (i.e., you fall at work, injuring your back), or if you suffer cumulative or repetitive trauma in the course of your employment (i.e., you repetitively use your hands and develop carpal tunnel syndrome), you may be entitled to recover workers’ compensation benefits if medical evidence shows the work injury, or repetitive work activity, caused the diagnosed condition. Additionally, if a work injury, or repetitive trauma, aggravates an underlying condition (such as arthritis or a degenerative condition) and causes that condition to become painful, the injury may qualify as a work-related injury entitling you to workers’ compensation benefits under Kentucky law.
Job Injury? Get Solid Legal Representation; Call Today
If you have suffered a work-related injury and would like to discuss your claim, please contact my office for a free consultation with this email, or call my firm in Louisville at 502-309-3636 now. I understand what you are going through and will strive for maximum compensation.