Since the 1910s, workers have been afforded certain legal protections when they experience job-related injuries. Workers’ compensation laws in every state typically shield employers from litigation while providing medical care and compensation to workers who suffer injuries and illnesses in the course of their work. These laws vary slightly from state to state, and they can seem daunting to those who are unfamiliar with the system. However, they exist to aid workers, and every injured workers should be able to obtain these benefits and not suffer further. Here, we explore the types of benefits that may be available for different types of injuries in Alaska.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Disability Benefits
Benefits are filed into a few general categories, based on the type of injury and the employee’s outlook for recovery. They can cover a variety of injuries, from straightforward to severe. The benefits include:
- Temporary Total Disability (TTD). These benefits are paid to those employees who suffer an injury that leaves them unable to work in any capacity but are expected to make a full recovery. The benefits end when the employee returns to work or reaches medical stability.
- Temporary Partial Disability (TPD). TPD benefits are awarded to employees who can return to work for less than a full work day during their recovery period. They are paid until the worker reaches medical stability or five years, whichever comes first.
- Permanent Partial Impairment (PPI). Paid in addition to TPD benefits, this compensation is awarded after a permanent physical loss, such as an amputation or loss of use. Compensation is based on an impairment rating provided by a physician based on the severity of the injury.
- Permanent Total Disability (PTD). If an employee can “no longer regularly and continuously work” because of the injury, they may be awarded PTD. These benefits are based on the type and severity of the injury.
- Death. Surviving family members of workers who die due to their work-related illness and injury may be eligible for death benefits. Dependents of the workers may receive weekly benefits in addition to compensation for funeral expenses.
The compensation provided by these benefits does vary as noted above. The severity and type of injury, as well as the wages the worker earned before the injury are major contributing factors in many cases.
Medical Benefits for Workers Injured on the Job
In addition to these compensation benefits, workers have a right to medical care to treat their injuries and help them reach as full a recovery as possible. Employers or their insurance company are required to provide a wide range of treatments and services based on the nature of the injury or illness, including:
- Doctor visits
- Hospital stays
- Chiropractic care
- Compensation for travel to appointments
- Home and vehicle modifications
In Alaska, employers or their insurance company are required to pay medical expenses related to the injury for two years. After two years, it is still possible to obtain care necessary for recovery, but injured workers are required to gain approval by the state workers’ compensation board.
What Type of Benefits Am I Eligible for?
Every injury is unique, and workers may be eligible for multiple benefits. If you aren’t sure what types of benefits may be appropriate for your injury, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help. Anchorage-based attorney Ben Crittenden has helped many of Alaska’s injured workers more fully understand their rights and obtain the maximum amount of compensation to which they are entitled. He can help you examine your situation, discuss your care with your providers, and determine what benefits would be appropriate.
If you or someone you love has suffered an injury or illness related to your work, you may be eligible for one or more of these benefits. The care and compensation they provide can help you and your family move forward successfully. Call Ben today to learn more about what he does and how he may be able to help. He offers free, no-obligation consultations.