Understanding Permanent Workers Compensation Benefits in Colorado

Workers’ compensation benefits are critical, especially if you suffer a permanent disability.

If you are hurt on the job site in Colorado, workers’ compensation pays benefits that include medical care, partial wage replacement, and disability benefits if you suffer permanent impairment.

Navigating workers’ compensation benefit schedules can be confusing. When you suffer serious injury, you may qualify for benefits that include:

  • Temporary total disability (TTD): A worker who is totally disabled on a temporary basis and unable to earn any wages is considered to be temporarily, but completely disabled. This could be an injury with a recovery that requires you to be off your feet and out of work.
  • Temporary partial disability (TPD): Temporary partial disability is paid if you return to work before reaching the point of maximum medical improvement. It is also available when you return to work that is modified to suit your temporary disability or when you are earning less than your average weekly wage due to the injury.

Upon recovery or when other conditions occur, temporary benefits will end. If you suffer disabling permanent injury, you are eligible for permanent total disability (PTD) under Colorado workers’ compensation laws.

Types of Benefits Available for Permanent Impairment

After medical treatment and recovery, you may still have disability or impairment. When that occurs, your treating physician may make a decision about the impairment or refer you to another specialist to assess the injury.

Once an assessment has been made, your insurance company may agree or disagree with the findings. Your impairment will fall into one of three categories:

  • Scheduled impairment: If you lose the function of parts of your body, it is called a “scheduled impairment.” This could include your hearing or vision, or it may involve your teeth, hands and fingers, legs, and feet and toes.
  • Whole person impairment: When the spine, lungs, or cognitive impairment is part of your permanent injury, it is considered “whole person.”
  • Permanent total disability: This category is for those who are considered unable to work again.

Compensation is also paid for visible permanent scarring or disfigurement. The money paid for these permanent injuries does not include wage loss, but represents a sum of money in payment for the disability or loss of function.

If you are considered to have permanent, total disability, you may qualify for lifetime payment of the same amount of money that you were paid for temporary total disability (TTD).

There are points throughout the workers’ comp process where the insurer may disagree with a finding on your level of injury or disability. If benefit levels for which you are eligible are not awarded or suddenly end—be sure to get experienced legal advice.

Speak with a Trusted Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today

With more than 15 years of experience helping injured clients in Adams County, the Law Office of John A. Anderson, Jr., LLC delivers dedicated legal service and straightforward answers about your workers’ compensation benefits. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your case with a Colorado workers’ comp attorney, call (303) 880-7994 today.