Saturday, January 07, 2012

Maximum Benefit Rates

The calculations for top dollar benefits can vary in Colorado depending on your date of injury and the allowable maximum rate on your date of work injury. Let's say you lose an arm or leg but are not totally disabled. What is the highest permanent benefit you can receive? For injuries after July 1, 2011 the max is $54,202.72 but if you were hurt before July 1, 2010 it might be only $53,067.04 or even less. Be aware this is strictly for the loss of an arm or leg without more. Always review with an attorney all the injuries you sustained at work but also your past medical history. At times a rather minor injury may nonetheless be significant enough to make you totally disabled. The rating or per cent of your medical impairment is not always the end of the story. Impairment is not the same as disability in many cases. In this area, more then anywhere, a workers comp attorney can be invaluable in analyzing the situation. Getting back to discussing the maximum rates, effective for injuries after July 1, 2011 the highest scar benefit can be as much as $8,792.00. Next, the most you can collect when you combine temporary and permanent benefits is $153,210.00 although this cap does not apply to those totally disabled. Be aware that these amounts are not the minimum you can collect so benefits can be less or even zero if your claim is not compensable(many claims are disputed). There are many factors that go into assessing impairment and disability but the caps do remain a top dollar limit on benefits in most cases. Those totally disabled or with a need for long term medical care may still have higher benefits. By way of example a few years ago I had a case where the claimant had a high rating but had collected all but a few thousand more before reaching the cap for combined temporary and permanent benefits. The case settled for much much more because of a concern he was totally disabled. However for those able to return to work the caps must be a consideration. Credit goes to Judge Eley for calculating the above figures for us.

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