The Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations explains how injured workers entitled to workers’ compensation may seek disability benefits above and beyond their medical claim.
The amount of your disability benefit may depend on the severity of your work-related injury and your ability to return to your job.
What benefits may be payable for a total disability?
If your injury prevents you from working now or in the future, you may seek permanent total disability benefits. You would receive these benefits weekly for life based on 66 2/3% of your average weekly earnings as of the date of your injury. You may have the option of accepting a lump-sum payment.
If you expect to work again, you may receive temporary total disability benefits, calculated as 66 2/3% of your average weekly gross wages. These benefits will continue until the doctor clears you for work or determines you have achieved “maximum medical improvement.” These benefits may not be available if the doctor has approved you for modified work and your employer makes that work available.
What benefits may be payable for a partial disability?
If you are able to work but cannot perform the responsibilities you had before your injury, you may receive partial disability benefits. If your condition is permanent, you may receive benefits equal to 66 2/3% of your average weekly earnings at the time of your injury or, subject to negotiation, a lump-sum payment.
Temporary partial disability payments may be available if you perform modified tasks and earn less than your full income. You may get weekly payments calculated as 66 2/3% of the difference between your average income before the injury and the amount you earn while disabled.
These benefits are subject to caps determined by law, so you must carefully evaluate the options that are available to you in a workers’ compensation claim.