Most work injuries and illnesses get better eventually. But some unfortunate workers suffer such serious on-the-job accidents that they likely will never recover. A permanent disability from a work injury could mean that you will never be able to earn an income again. Your family could be left with no way to make ends meet — except workers’ compensation.
Like most states, Mississippi offers both temporary and “permanent” workers’ comp benefits. However, “permanent” benefits do not last the rest of your life. Instead, they can be awarded for a maximum of 450 weeks, or a little more than 8.5 years. Still, this can give you and your family time to find longer-term sources of benefits.
The two types of permanent benefits
There are two types of permanent workers’ compensation: permanent partial disability and permanent total disability. As the names imply, whichever one applies to you depends on the type and severity of your disability and whether you can still work in some capacity. A disability that still allows you to work but at a reduced workload or a lower-paying job could entitle you to up to two-thirds of your pre-injury weekly earnings for a set period of time. A permanent total disability that makes it impossible to work at all can also lead to benefits of up to two-thirds of your prior weekly earnings.
Workers’ comp also covers “reasonable and necessary” medical treatment with the goal of reaching the “maximum cure” possible. Even if a disability is permanent, there could still be improvement in your condition to maximize your independence and quality of life. Getting medical benefits through workers’ comp makes this possible for many Mississippians.
Getting the benefits you deserve can be challenging. If you were denied workers’ comp or your employer has made a lowball offer, working with an attorney can help even the playing field.