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The four types of workers' compensation classifications

Among the different benefits that workers' compensation offers, cash payments are an important consideration.

Exactly how much cash you'll be paid and why depends on which workers' compensation classification your injuries fall into. Unlike many disability programs, which take an "all or nothing" approach, victims of workplace accidents don't have to be unable to perform any type of work to qualify for benefits.

If your injury results in a condition that is likely to heal, like a broken arm, you can be classified in one of two ways:

  1. Temporary Total Disability -- This period may apply to any temporary injury if you need a certain amount of time off work to heal. For example, a broken arm might not keep you from doing everything, but there is definitely likely to be a period where you are in too much pain or on too much pain medication to be functional. You generally receive the maximum benefit allowed for the majority of the time you are off work, depending on how long this category applies to your situation.
  2. Temporary Partial Disability -- This period might occur after a minor accident that doesn't stop you from working or be part of a transition period back to work after a bigger accident. Essentially, it covers you for the amount of work you can't do, up to 50 percent of the state's weekly wage cap.

Those who are more severely injured are likely to receive some form of permanent benefit:

  1. Permanent Partial Disability -- These types of injuries may not stop a person from working but they may leave someone with a permanent scar, a limp or some other significant injury that isn't going to go away. Benefits are generally paid as a lump sum, according to a set scale. For example, the loss of use of your little finger is worth 25 weeks of full compensation.
  2. Permanent Total Disability -- This covers injuries that are severe, completely disabling and from which you aren't likely to recover. Benefits may be ongoing or you may eventually be awarded a lump sum settlement for your future.

For more information about workers' compensation classifications and help with a claim, contact an attorney today.

Source: Maryland Workers' Compensation Commission, "Maryland Workers' Compensation Law," accessed Aug. 31, 2017

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