State Workers' Insurance Fund (SWIF)  > Claims > Partial Disability

Partial Disability

Partial Disability Benefits are paid when an employee returns to work, or is medically able to perform currently available work as determined by an agreement or a Judge's decision, but at wages which are lower than the employee's earnings prior to the injury.
 
The maximum payment period of an injury resulting in a partial disability is 500 weeks. The 500 weeks do not have to be consecutive, payments may be spread over a longer period of time. But the total number of weeks must equal the 500 weeks.
 
The compensation rate for partial disability from the date of injury is two-thirds of the difference between the employee's average weekly wage, and the average weekly wage of the employee following his/her return to work. An employee may not receive more in compensation plus wages than he/she would have earned prior to any injury.
  • Specific Loss Benefits. Benefits are paid if a work related injury results in loss of vision and or hearing. Also the loss of use of limbs or parts of limbs (including fingers and toes). Specific loss benefits are paid without regard to the amount of time lost from work and whether the employee returns to work.
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  • Disfigurement Benefits. Benefits are paid if there is a serious, permanent, unsightly disfigurement to the head, face or neck area. The benefits awarded range from 1 week to a maximum of 275 weeks. There are no set payment amounts for disfigurement benefits. An Agreement, made and recorded on the appropriate Agreement Form, may be reached between the employee and the employer or its insurance carrier. If an Agreement cannot be reached, the employee may file a petition for a hearing before a Workers' Compensation Judge.
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  • Death Benefits. The employee's dependants may claim benefits if a work related injury or disease contributes or caused the employee's death. Also, reasonable burial expenses are payable to a maximum dollar amount of $3,000.00 dollars. The employer must file a death claim (Form LIBC.-344) with the Bureau of Workers' Compensation within 48 hours after the death is reported. Death benefits can be made payable to:

    1. The surviving spouse if the spouse lived with the employee at the time of death and was financially dependent on him/her.
       
    2. Dependent children under the age of 18. Full time students may receive benefits until the age of 23. There is no age limit if the child is a disabled dependent. Payments are sent to the spouse unless there is no surviving spouse, in which case payments are made directly to the dependent child or guardian.
       
    3. Dependent parents or siblings. If the deceased employee had no spouse or dependent children, the parent(s) are entitled to benefits if they were financially dependent on the employee the time he/she was disabled in whole or in part. If the deceased had no spouse, children, or parents, benefits are paid to brothers or sisters if they were financially dependent on the employee.

      The spouse is entitled to 51 percent of the employee's average wage as of the date of injury or disease. A spouse with one dependent is eligible for 60 percent, and with two or more dependent children, 66 2/3 percent. Payments cannot exceed the statewide average weekly wage.
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