Temporary vs. Permanent Disability Benefits
Injured workers can get a variety of useful benefits through workers’ compensation while they recover from their work-related injuries. When an injury is severe enough to keep a worker from returning to employment for an extended period, Mississippi allows them to seek disability benefits, which are sorted into temporary and permanent disability benefits.
What are Temporary Disability Benefits in Mississippi?
Temporary total disability benefits can be rewarded if you cannot work at all while recovering from your injuries. They can be paid in an amount equal to roughly 66% of your average weekly wages and for up to 450 weeks. However, if your doctor believes you are no longer disabled in the context of your job, and you have reached your maximum medical improvement (MMI), then your benefits can end earlier than expected.
You can also receive temporary partial disability benefits if you can complete some work while recovering but only work that is paid less than what you used to make. About 66% of the difference in pay between your previous position and your new one can be provided through this benefit for up to 450 weeks.
What are Permanent Disability Benefits in Mississippi?
Some workers reach their MMI but are still affected by their work-related injuries and be unable to work. At this point, permanent total disability benefits will become a possibility. Such disability benefits are only granted to workers who have suffered life-changing injuries, like an amputation. Like temporary disability benefits, they will provide a 66% portion of their average weekly wages and expire at 450 weeks.
Permanent partial disability benefits are used when a claimant has reached MMI, will never fully heal, but can complete some work. The duration of permanent partial disability benefits depends on the severity of your injuries, based on Mississippi’s “disability schedule.” The maximum amount is 450 weeks again, with payments usually equal to 66% of your average weekly wages. You can also get a one-time payment of up to $5,000 if you have been visibly and permanently scarred or disfigured.
Permanent Medical Benefits
It is important to note that Mississippi only caps the payment of partial wages to 450 weeks in disability claims. Coverage for necessary medical care is not capped, so it can last for the rest of a claimant’s life. For example, if a worker suffers a catastrophic back injury that makes it painful to walk around, then they could get disability pay for 450 weeks but prescribed physical therapy sessions indefinitely.If you have questions about the disability benefits you might be able to receive after a workplace accident, dial (601) 265-6869 to connect with ‘Maggio | Thompson, LLP in Jackson. Our attorneys offer free initial consultations to inquiring clients.