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Disability benefits through workers' compensation

A Colorado employee who is injured in a work-related accident may qualify for lost income replacement benefits on either a temporary or permanent basis. For injured workers whose injury necessitates them missing more than three days of work, payments for the missed work can begin on the fourth missed day.

There are several different types of disability benefits available to injured employees through workers' compensation. A worker who is temporarily and totally unable to perform his or her duties may receive temporary total disability benefits until able to return to work. In situations in which the injured worker returns to work prior to reaching maximum medical improvement, he or she may be eligible for temporary partial disability. Similarly, workers who return to work with reduced duties and reduced wages or hours may be due temporary partial disability, as will workers who are receiving less than their average weekly wage.

Some workers will also be eligible for either permanent partial disability payments or permanent total disability payments. Those eligible for permanent partial disability are workers whose permanent loss of function make them unable to resume the same duties at the same pay they formerly held. Those who are eligible for permanent total disability are those whose injuries makes them permanently unable to work. Their benefits will be two-thirds of what their average weekly wage was prior to the injury.

Colorado employers are mandated to provide workers' compensation coverage for their employees. When people have been injured on the job, they may wish to seek the advice and counsel of a workers' compensation attorney who may be able to help in situations in which an employer objects to benefits to which the worker may be entitled.

Source: Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, "Disability and Benefits", November 06, 2014

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