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Work Injuries: What Workers Compensation Benefits Are Available?

Work Injuries: What Workers Compensation Benefits Are Available?

A workplace injury can be a tremendous source of stress and worry for you and your loved ones.

How will you even begin to pay for all of those medical bills and keep up with other expenses if you aren’t bringing home any income?

Help is available. Workers compensation laws provide a safety net that may cover medical treatment and lost earnings for those who get hurt on the job.

Here’s an overview of the benefits that may be available to you in the State of Missouri.

Medical Benefits

Most Missouri employers or their insurers must cover medical costs stemming from workplace injuries.

  • Medical benefits include surgery and other medical treatments, prescription medications and medical devices. There is no deductible to the injured employee.
  • Your employer or insurer may select the doctor you see. If you go to your own doctor, you may forfeit all or some of your medical benefits. If your employer-selected doctor releases you from treatment before you are ready, a workers comp attorney can help you obtain the additional care that you need.
  • Your employer or their insurer must pay for travel expenses to receive treatment within 250 miles of where you live.

Your employer may require you to use accumulated paid personal leave or sick leave while receiving treatment. You may also be required to submit to “reasonable” medical examination as a condition of continuing to receive benefits.

Temporary Total Disability

If you miss more than three days of work due to a work-related injury, you may be eligible for a weekly check for the duration of your recovery.

  • Temporary total disability payments equal 66 ⅔ percent of your average weekly wage, up to a maximum established by State law. Benefits will continue until the doctor determines that you can return to work or that you have reached maximum medical improvement.
  • You may qualify for temporary partial disability benefits if you are able to return to light duty or modified work before you have fully recovered. Payments will be 66 ⅔ percent of the difference between your average gross earnings before the accident and the amount your employer will pay during the disability period.

Permanent Partial Disability

You may be entitled to a monetary settlement if you are left with any permanent disabilities after completing treatment for a workplace injury.

Permanent partial disability means you are still able to perform some jobs but not others. If this is the case, you may qualify for 66 ⅔ percent of your average weekly earnings on the date of your injury, not to exceed a limit set by law.

The treating physician will assign you a percentage disability rating, which estimates your level of disability and indicates the types of work you are able to perform. Ratings are usually conservative and rarely reflect the true extent of disability. A qualified workers comp lawyer will work to ensure that your rating is accurate so that you receive the full benefits you are entitled to.

Permanent Total Disability

Permanent total disability means you are no longer able to perform any job because of a workplace injury. In such cases you may qualify for weekly payments for the rest of your life.

  • Your employer or their insurer may be required to pay 66 ⅔ percent of your average weekly wage at the time of injury, up to a maximum established by law.
  • If you had a pre-existing disability prior to the workplace injury that left you permanently disabled, your employer will only be responsible for that portion of your disability caused by your on-the-job accident. The remainder of your total disability payments will be covered by the Second Injury Fund.

You may be required to undergo vocational testing scheduled by your employer or their insurer before you can receive permanent total disability payments. A vocational rehabilitation counselor will assess whether or not there are any jobs that you could perform with the level of disability that you have.


If you have suffered an injury at work, contact Eng & Woods today.

Our workers compensation attorneys will help you navigate the process and recover the benefits you deserve.

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    1000 West Nifong Boulevard, Building 7
    Suite 201
    Columbia, Missouri 65203
    Phone: 573-874-4190
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