The Workers’ Compensation Act
The Worker’s Compensation Act is the Connecticut law that protects workers that were injured on the job. This act ensures wage replacement benefits and necessary medical treatment are provided to injured employees. Every employee is covered by benefits provided by the Workers’ Compensation Act from their very first day of employment, regardless of their status as full or part time workers.
The Workers’ Compensation Act is overseen by the Workers’ Compensation Commission, the State’s administrative agency. The Workers’ Compensation Commission administers hearings with Administrative Law Judges (formerly known as Commissioners) in eight regional Districts located throughout the state.
You could be eligible for these benefits provided for by the Workers’ Compensation Act:
Medical Treatment: You have the right to receive all necessary medical care and treatment for your injuries. This might be your most immediate area of concern. All medical bills for medical care and treatment for your workplace injury or illness should be fully paid for by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance provider. You are not responsible for paying these bills. In addition to paying medical bills, your employer must also pay for necessary prescription medicines.
Temporary Total Disability: When you miss time from work because your injury or illness prevents you from working, you could receive these benefits. These are wage replacement benefits for any wages or salary that you miss because of your injury. If your treating doctor confirms that your injury will cause you to miss time from work, you are eligible to receive wage replacement benefits at a rate of 75% of your after-tax-and-social-security average weekly wage, based upon the wages that you earned prior to the injury (up to 52 weeks).
Temporary Partial Disability: When an employee can perform some work, but not the same kind of work, or the same number of hours that they worked before their injury, they can receive this benefit. This benefit rate is 75% of the after-tax-and-social-security difference between the amount they are currently earning and the amount that they would have earned if they had not been injured.
Permanent Partial Disability: This benefit is paid to the injured worker who has sustained a permanent partial loss of body part usage as the result of their workplace injury. The exact amount of the benefit that will be received is based upon the body part that was injured, the doctor’s determination of the percentage of that body part that has been disabled, and the employee’s basic workers’ compensation rate.
Relapse or Recurrence: This benefit is paid where an employee suffers a relapse, or recurrence, of their original injury or illness. They may receive benefits for the period of injury or illness relapse.
Discretionary Benefits: If eligible, an Administrative Law Judge (formerly Commissioner) may award these benefits to an employee after the employee has already been paid all of their permanent partial disability benefits. In order to obtain these benefits, the employee must request an informal hearing, where the Administrative Law Judge may, or may not, decide to grant these benefits.
Job Retraining: Under the Workers’ Compensation Act, employees in need may receive vocational rehabilitation and training when they can no longer return to their prior job because of the extent of their workplace injury or illness. Eligible employees can request and receive job re-training and vocational counseling from the Workers’ Compensation Commission’s Rehabilitation Services.
Travel Expenses and Mileage: You do not have to bear the cost of travel to and from your necessary medical care appointments for your workplace injury. Your employer must provide transportation to go to and from your medical appointments or must reimburse you for travel expenses and mileage, if you use your own private vehicle, at the federal mileage reimbursement rate. Typically, we find that injured workers drive themselves or get family members or friends to drive them to their medical care appointments. Keep a log of your appointments for each visit’s date, location, and mileage.
Lost Time Reimbursement For Medical Travel: You should receive your medical care and treatment during normal work hours, and you should be paid by your employer at your normal pay rate. However, if your medical care and treatment cannot take place during your normal work hours, you are eligible to be reimbursed at the rate of your average hourly earnings by your employer as if the missing time were lost hours from work.
In many situations, your employer and their insurance carrier will resist paying the benefits that you are eligible to receive. A workers’ compensation lawyer can fight for your rights. Contact us to ensure you receive all the benefits that you are entitled to.