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What am I Entitled To Under Connecticut Workers' Compensation Law?

Posted by James Aspell | Jan 20, 2024 | 0 Comments

Introduction

Workers' compensation laws are crucial for protecting employees in the event of workplace injuries or illnesses. In Connecticut, these laws ensure that workers receive the necessary medical treatment and financial compensation during their recovery period. This comprehensive guide aims to provide a thorough understanding of what you are entitled to under Connecticut's workers' compensation law.

Understanding Connecticut Workers' Compensation Law

The Basics of Workers' Compensation in Connecticut

Workers' compensation in Connecticut is a no-fault system, meaning employees do not need to prove their employer was at fault to receive benefits. It covers medical expenses, wage replacement, and, in severe cases, rehabilitation or permanent injury compensation.

Eligibility for Workers' Compensation

To be eligible for workers' compensation in Connecticut, you must be an employee who suffered a work-related injury or illness. This includes full-time, part-time, and, in some cases, temporary or seasonal workers.

Key Benefits Under Connecticut Workers' Compensation

Medical Treatment and Care

Under Connecticut law, workers are entitled to receive full medical treatment for their work-related injuries or illnesses. This includes hospital bills, medication costs, and necessary rehabilitation services.

Temporary Disability Benefits

If you are unable to work due to your injury, you may be eligible for temporary disability benefits. These benefits are designed to compensate for lost wages and are typically a percentage of your average weekly wage.

Temporary Total Disability (TTD)

TTD benefits are provided when you are completely unable to work for a temporary period. The amount usually equals about two-thirds of your average weekly earnings.

Temporary Partial Disability (TPD)

If you can return to work but at a reduced capacity or lower earnings, TPD benefits help bridge the wage gap.

Permanent Disability Benefits

In cases of permanent injuries, workers may be entitled to permanent disability benefits. The nature and extent of the disability determine the amount and duration of these benefits.

Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)

PPD benefits apply if you have a permanent impairment but can still work in some capacity. The benefit amount depends on the body part affected and the degree of impairment.

Permanent Total Disability (PTD)

PTD benefits are for workers who are permanently and totally disabled. This provides ongoing wage replacement benefits.

Additional Rights and Provisions

Vocational Rehabilitation

If you are unable to return to your previous job, you may be entitled to vocational rehabilitation services, including retraining and job placement assistance.

Death Benefits

In tragic cases where a worker dies due to a work-related injury or illness, Connecticut law provides death benefits to dependents. This includes a portion of the deceased worker's wages and funeral expenses.

Navigating the Claims Process

Reporting the Injury

The first step in claiming workers' compensation benefits is to report the injury to your employer immediately. Delay in reporting can affect your eligibility for benefits.

Filing a Claim

After reporting the injury, you must file a formal claim. Understanding the documentation and deadlines is crucial for a successful claim.

Dealing with Claim Denials

If your claim is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. It's important to understand the appeals process and, if necessary, seek legal assistance.

Conclusion

Understanding your rights under Connecticut workers' compensation law is vital to ensuring you receive the benefits you deserve. Whether it's medical care, wage replacement, or vocational rehabilitation, knowing what you're entitled to can significantly aid in your recovery and return to work.

FAQs

1. Can I choose my own doctor for treatment under Connecticut workers' compensation? Yes, in Connecticut, you have the right to select your own doctor for treatment of a work-related injury or illness.

2. How long do I have to report a work-related injury in Connecticut? In most instances you have one (1) year to properly file your claim with the Connecticut Workers Compensation Commission and your employer.  There is a specific procedure for doing this and if you are not comfortable doing it yourself, you should obtain the services of a competent Connecticut workers comp lawyer. It's important to report a work-related injury to your employer as soon as possible, ideally within the first few days after the incident.

3. Are mental health issues covered under Connecticut workers' compensation? So long as the are accompanied by an actual physical injury,  work-related mental health issues, such as stress or trauma, can be covered under Connecticut workers' compensation, provided they meet certain criteria.  Mental health issues without any physical injury ARE NOT covered.

4. Can I return to work while receiving workers' compensation benefits? Yes, you can return to work while receiving certain types of workers' compensation benefits, particularly if you're able to work in a reduced capacity.

5. What if my employer does not have workers' compensation insurance? If your employer is legally required to have workers' compensation insurance but does not, you may still be able to receive benefits through the Connecticut Uninsured Employers Fund.

 
 
 
 

About the Author

James Aspell

Principal since August 1, 2006 James F. Aspell is the principal and managing attorney of the firm which he started in 2006 following 20 years of litigation practice in a mid -size firm in Hartford, Connecticut. Jim focuses his practice in the areas of worker's compensation and personal injury l...

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