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Does Workers’ Compensation Cover Long-Term Injuries?

Posted in Workers' Compensation Laws on April 28, 2023

Individuals who sustain on-the-job injuries in Arizona are typically able to recover workers’ compensation benefits to handle all of their medical expenses related to the incident and a portion of their lost wages if they are temporarily unable to work. However, there are times when individuals sustain longer-term complications as a result of a workplace injury, and the workers’ compensation system does have methods in place for paying benefits for these longer-term injuries.

Temporary Total Disability 

Temporary total disability (TTD) benefits apply when an individual is temporarily unable to work in any capacity. Claimants who are entitled to TTD benefits will receive two-thirds of their average monthly wage during the time frame of the disability. If individuals have dependents, they will receive an extra $25 a month.

In addition to the payment of wages, injury victims will continue to receive complete compensation for their medical expenses caused by the workplace incident.

Permanent Partial Disability

There are some injuries that prevent individuals from returning to their pre-injury condition, regardless of how much medical treatment and rehabilitation they receive. If this occurs, individuals may qualify for permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits. If the injuries sustained on the job become a permanent part of a person’s life but still allow them to work in some capacity, PPD benefits can be incredibly beneficial.

The total amount of compensation a person receives for PPD will depend on whether or not the injury is considered scheduled or unscheduled.

Scheduled and Unscheduled Injuries

Under Arizona law, an injury is considered scheduled if the specific body part injured is listed under the Arizona Workers’ Compensation Law “schedule.” 

Under the schedule, a significant number of body parts are listed with the maximum amount of months a person can receive benefits four. For example, the loss of a thumb allows an individual to claim 15 total months of benefits. The loss of a dominant hand allows for 50 months of benefits. The loss of hearing in both ears allows for 60 months of benefits. We encourage you to find an injury on the schedule if you wish to know the maximum amount of time benefits are available. 

If you believe that you have a scheduled injury sustained on the job in Arizona, we encourage you to reach out to an attorney to help ensure that you receive the maximum number of benefits allowed under the Arizona schedule.

Injuries are considered unscheduled if they happen to areas of the body that are not currently listed on the schedule of losses. If an individual sustains a permanent partial disability that is not scheduled, they will be entitled to 55% of the difference between their pre-existing earning capacity and their earning capacity after the injury.

Permanent Full Disability

If an injury is so severe that a person will never be able to work again, the individual will be able to recover two-thirds of their average monthly wage for the rest of their life. The determining factor as to whether or not an injury is considered permanent and full will need to be made by a physician. However, there are certain injuries that are presumed to be permanent. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Total and permanent loss of sight
  • The loss of both hands or feet
  • The loss of one hand and 1 foot
  • Injuries to the spine that result in permanent and complete paralysis of either both legs, both arms, or one arm and one leg
  • Any injury that results in significant cognitive decline

Any questions related to your work injury compensation should be directed to a skilled workers’ compensation attorney in Phoenix who can examine the facts of your particular case.