The Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation (MDWC) requires employers with five or more employees to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Missouri workers’ comp provides no-fault coverage for medical bills and lost wages to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses on the job or as a result of the job.
Those injuries can take many forms, all of which entitle the worker to workers’ compensation. Workplace injuries for which compensation can be awarded include:
- Progressive conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome or ligament damage that result from repetitive motions
- Occupational diseases such as lung disease from exposure to toxic chemicals or fumes
- Traumatic injuries resulting from a workplace accident, such as:
- Slip and fall injuries
- Brain and spinal cord injuries
- Auto accident injuries
- Burn injuries
- Construction injuries
Categories of Disability in a Workers' Compensation Case
When you’ve reached the stage of maximum medical improvement (MMI) after a work-related injury or illness, your doctors will decide if you’ve sustained a disability included in one of MDWC’s four categories: temporary partial disability, temporary total disability, permanent partial disability, or permanent total disability.
Temporary Partial Disability (TPD)
These benefits are 66 2/3% of the difference between the average earnings prior to the accident and the amount that the employee will be able to earn during the period of disability, subject to the maximum TPD rate.
Temporary Total Disability (TTD)
Temporary total disability benefits are 66 2/3% of the injured worker's average weekly wage, not to exceed the maximum amount set by state law. The average weekly wage is based on gross wages before taxes and other deductions.
Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)
Benefits for permanent partial disability are calculated at 66 2/3% of the employee's average weekly earnings at the time of their injury, up to the state-approved maximum rate. You may also receive a lump-sum payment based on the nature and extent of your disability. Each of the disabilities below would entitle you to a specific number of weekly benefits, up to a maximum amount that changes annually:
- Loss of one eye or vision in one eye
- Loss of up to 49% of the use of your back
- Loss of one leg
- Loss of one arm
- Loss of one thumb
- Loss of one big toe
- Loss of one other toe
Permanent Total Disability (PTD)
If you are permanently and totally disabled, you can either receive weekly payments for your lifetime or a negotiated lump-sum settlement. The weekly payment is 66 2/3% of your average weekly earnings at the time of the injury or the maximum amount set by law. For PTD, you can receive medical care and two-thirds of your average weekly wage, up to a maximum amount that changes annually.
Benefit Payments After an Accident at Work
There is a three-day waiting period before any compensation is paid. If you are unable to work for more than 14 days, you will then be paid for those first three days.
Disability payments and medical bills are paid by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company. If a medical bill is not paid or you do not receive a disability check in a timely manner, contact your employer or insurer. Workers’ compensation payments are tax-free.
Reporting Your Accident and Filing Your Claim
You have 90 days to report a work-related injury or illness to your employer and two years to file a workers’ compensation claim, but you should not wait. If you are injured on the job:
- Report your accident/injury to your employer, who should file a workers’ comp claim on your behalf.
- See the doctor recommended by the workers’ compensation insurance company.
- Consult an attorney if your employer or the insurance company disputes your claim or does not cooperate. If the insurance company’s representative offers you a settlement that is not reasonable, we can help you to file an appeal.
Have You Been Injured on the Job in Missouri?
If you've been injured on the job, you need to speak with an experienced worker's compensation attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Cape Girardeau office directly at 573.335.3359 to schedule your initial consultation.