For most Missouri professionals, work becomes predictable once they finish their training. Even in the most exciting professions, you will likely perform the same handful of tasks repeatedly. If you work in a factory or similar setting, you may perform the same task all day, every single day.
Any work that you do with your body is work that you may struggle to perform after you suffer an injury on the job or develop a work-acquired medical condition like carpal tunnel syndrome. What happens when you can’t perform the same job tasks as usual because of a medical issue?
You may require accommodations and partial disability benefits
Typically, you will need medical documentation of any issue that you claim inhibits your ability to perform your job. Once you notify your employer of the issue, they may need to file internal paperwork and help you in the early stages of your workers’ compensation benefits claim.
Workers’ compensation will cover your medical costs. The doctor overseeing your care may recommend certain limitations to your work if they don’t require you to take a leave of absence to recover. Your employer should accommodate those light-duty restrictions. If they reduce your wages, you may also qualify for partial disability benefits.
How partial disability benefits work
When a medical condition related to your job prevents you from continuing to earn the same income you have long enjoyed, workers’ compensation can help cover some of the gap in your wages. Currently, the state limits permanent partial disability benefits to 55% of the state average weekly wage at most. In 2022 and early 2023, the maximum partial disability benefit will be $607.71.
Those benefits can help ensure that you are still able to pay your mortgage and other basic cost-of-living expenses despite your limitations on the job. Those benefits will continue until you fully recover or reach maximum medical improvement. At that point, a doctor may evaluate you and assign you a disability percentage. That figure will determine what permanent partial disability benefits you can receive if you will never go back to the same job.
Understanding what workers’ compensation offers injured employees in Missouri can help you make use of the benefits put in place to protect you.