Connecticut’s workers’ compensation system provides a variety of benefits to workers who suffer an injury or illness that is related to their employment. If a person is rendered unable to work because of a work-related illness or injury, that person may be eligible for what are called “wage replacement benefits” until he or she is able to return to work. These benefits are also referred to as disability benefits.
The Connecticut workers’ compensation system recognizes three kinds of disability: temporary total, temporary partial, and permanent partial. A worker is disabled if he or she is unable to perform the duties of the job they held at the time of the injury.
Temporary total disability is the complete inability to work for a limited period. Temporary partial disability is a disability that limits a person’s ability to work but which is resolved over time allowing the worker to return to his or her job. Permanent partial disability is a condition which, in the opinion of a physician, will not improve over time. (Anyone who is permanently and totally disabled may be eligible for benefits under a federal plan, Social Security Disability Insurance, and the state plan does not cover such injuries.)
A person must be disabled for at least three days after the occurrence of the disabling injury or illness. An employee who is totally and temporarily disabled will receive 75 percent of his or her net weekly wage. Benefits at a reduced level may also be paid if worker is sufficiently healthy to look for work but able to undertake “light duty” or “restricted work.”
When a physician determines that the worker has reached the point of maximum improvement, the physician will provide a disability rating that reflects the claimant’s ability to perform similar work. Future disability benefits will depend on this disability rating.
Disability benefits can be an important source of post-injury income. Anyone who has suffered a disabling on-the-job injury may wish to consult an experienced workers’ compensation attorney for advice on submitting and pursuing a claim for workers’ compensation disability benefits.