Disability benefits are paid to injured workers that suffer a work-related injury or illness that requires a long recovery period, modified work duties, or results in a permanent disability. Lost wages, medical expenses, and prescription medications can create a significant financial hardship for the injured worker and their family.
Disability compensation can help injured workers focus on their recovery and adjust to the changes in their lifestyle without the burden of the financial stress created by their injury or illness.
The Wilmington Workers’ Compensation lawyers at McCann & Wall, LLC are committed to helping injured workers claim the maximum amount of disability benefits available to them. The team of highly skilled Workers’ Compensation lawyers at the firm dedicates their efforts to ensuring their client’s legal rights are protected, and their best interests served.
Types of Disability Benefits
There are three types of disability benefits available after a workplace accident to cover a host of work-related injuries and illnesses:
Total Disability Benefits: When an injury or illness prevents a worker from performing any level of work, they will be entitled to total disability benefits.
In the state of Delaware, total disability benefits provide workers with two-thirds of their average weekly wage, with a maximum benefit of $689.45 per week. Benefits are available for the entire time the work-related injury or illness lasts, up to and including lifetime benefits.
Examples of a total disability include:
- Loss of both arms, hands, legs, feet, or eyes
- Spinal injuries that cause permanent paralysis of both legs, arms, or a combination including one of each limb
- Any type of permanent cognitive or mental deficit resulting from a head or brain injury
- Broken bones, sprains, strains, or illnesses that prevent the worker from carrying out their work-related duties
Temporary Partial Disability Benefits: If a worker is injured or contracts a work-related illness but is still able to work at a reduced work load or schedule, they are entitled to receive temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits. Compensation is based on two-thirds of the difference in the worker’s wages earned before the injury or illness occurred, and wages they will earn post-injury.
TPD benefits are paid until the worker returns to their full schedule and work duties, or when a medical doctor confirms that the condition will no longer improve with medical intervention. The maximum amount of benefits under TPD is 300 weeks. After that time, the worker can be considered for permanent partial disability benefits.
Permanent Partial Disability Benefits: Permanent partial disability benefits (PPD) are awarded to injured workers that have reached the end of their temporary partial disability benefits, but are still unable to work to their full capacity.
Compensation for PPD benefits is calculated between scheduled and unscheduled losses.
- Scheduled losses include injuries that are assigned a certain predetermined value that is based on the specific loss of hands, arms, legs, feet, toes, fingers, vision, hearing, or disfigurement. The worker receives these benefits, even if they are able to return to work in any capacity. The formula for compensation includes two-thirds of the worker’s salary for an assigned number of weeks for each specific body part lost. For instance, a worker that had to have their arm amputated would get compensation equal to 250 weeks; but a worker that loses 50 percent of the use of their arm would only receive compensation equal to 125 weeks, because the partial loss is considered less valuable than the total loss of a limb.
- Unscheduled losses refer to injuries that do not have a predetermined value. Injuries to the neck, back, and lungs are examples of unscheduled losses. A medical professional will determine what level of impairment the injury has on the worker. Compensation will be calculated using a formula of two-thirds of the worker’s weekly wages times the percentage of impairment determined by the medical professional. This value will then be multiplied by 300 weeks to determine the full benefit amount.
Wilmington Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at McCann & Wall, LLC Help Injured Workers Claim Disability Benefits
If you or a family member has been injured or disabled in a work-related accident, call the Wilmington Workers’ Compensation lawyers at McCann & Wall, LLC at 302-888-1221 or contact us online to schedule a consultation today. Our Wilmington offices serve clients throughout Delaware, including Dover, Newark, and Middletown; our Philadelphia offices serve clients in Chester County, Delaware County, and throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.