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Workers’ Compensation: Understanding Different Types of Disability

If you’ve suffered an on-the-job injury or illness, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits from your employer or their insurer. The attorneys at Eng and Woods can guide you through this process and ensure that you receive all the compensation to which you are entitled.

Workers’ comp helps with the cost of medical treatment and lost wages during your recovery. Missouri law requires most employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance to cover such expenses. 

You’ll need to work with a qualified workers’ compensation attorney to ensure that you receive the full amount you’re entitled to. That will depend in part on the type of disabilities that result from your injuries. Other factors are:

  • Whether your disabilities are temporary or permanent
  • Whether they are partial or total

Temporary Partial Disability

Temporary partial disability means that you are able to return to work while still recovering from your injuries, possibly with light or modified duties. 

For example, your doctor may determine that you can work only four hours a day instead of eight. Or the doctor could restrict the activities you may engage in, such as lifting heavy objects. 

  • Your employer may offer light or modified duty work until your recovery is complete. 
  • Typically, this modified work is at less than full pay.
  • Benefits for temporary partial disability include 66 ⅔% of the difference between your pre-injury pay and the amount you earn during your disability period. 

Temporary Total Disability

Temporary total disability means you are unable to work at all while recovering from a work-related illness or injury.

  • You may receive 66 ⅔% of your average weekly pay prior to your injury. 
  • Under Missouri law, your benefit may not exceed 105% of the state average weekly wage.
  • Your benefits will continue until a doctor determines that you have fully recovered or have reached maximum medical improvement. 

Permanent Partial Disability

Your injuries may leave you with some form of permanent impairment that affects your ability to work. Permanent partial disability means you are still able to perform some jobs, but not others. 

You may have to seek a different job from the one you had before. In some cases, you may be able to return to your previous job but with modified duties or reasonable accommodations in place. 

  • The benefit for this type of disability is based upon the extent of disability that you have (normally expressed as a percentage of disability), the part of body injured and the wages you were earning prior to the injury.
  • You may receive your benefit as a lump sum. 
  • Missouri law limits your benefit to 55% of the state average weekly wage. 

Permanent Total Disability

Permanent total disability means you are no longer able to work at any job. You may be entitled to weekly payments for life from your employer or their insurer. 

  • The benefit is 66 ⅔% of your average weekly wage before your injury. 
  • You may receive your benefit as a lump sum. 
  • Your benefit may not exceed 105% of the state average weekly wage under Missouri law. 

If you’re dealing with a workplace injury, please contact Eng & Woods for a free consultation. We will answer all of your questions and fight to recover the compensation you deserve.

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  • Columbia Office
    903 E. Ash Street
    Columbia, Missouri 65201
    Phone: 573-874-4190
    Fax: 573-874-4192
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