Connecticut Workers' Compensation
Workers' compensation coverage is provided to all Connecticut employees who are injured while performing their normal job function or who are disabled due to an occupational illness or disease. The Workers' Compensation Commission (WCC) administers Connecticut's workers compensation program with the "ultimate goal of ensuring that workers injured on the job receive prompt payment of lost work time benefits and attendant medical expenses". The Workers' Compensation Commission administers the state's program by participating in voluntary agreements, negotiating disputes, determining awards, holding hearings, making ruling on appeals and closes cases by negotiating workers' compensation settlement awards.
Workers compensation has eliminated the need for the injured Connecticut worker to sue their employer for compensation for work injuries. The worker forfeits the right to sue while the employer agrees to provide medical benefits, and in some cases, wage loss compensation. This trade-off is outlined in Connecticut workers' compensation laws and eliminates the need for the employee to prove the employer was negligent through a lawsuit to receive compensation.
Common injuries covered under Connecticut Workers' Compensation
Connecticut workers' compensation laws will provide compensation for most injuries and occupational illnesses which occur in the normal course of business.
There are injuries that are not covered which can include:
- Injuries which are self-inflicted
- Injuries that result from an employee's misconduct
- Injuries that occur while an employee is under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Injuries generally covered
Common illnesses and work injuries that are generally covered under Connecticut workers' compensation law include the following:
- Back injuries
- Amputations of legs, arms, fingers or toes
- Cancer from a certain chemical or toxin
- Heart attack
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Post traumatic stress disorder
- Radiation poisoning
Connecticut Worker's Compensation Benefits
Connecticut workers injured on the job or who suffer from an occupational illness may be entitled to lost wage compensation and paid medical expenses.
- Medical Benefits - If you are a Connecticut worker and you have been injured in a work injury you are entitled to full medical benefits which are provided through your employer's workers' compensation insurance. There are no time limits or limits on the amount of medical expense that will be paid for your medical care.
Medical benefits which may be paid for can include surgical procedures, hospital visits, doctor's visits, prescribed medication, dental services, MRIs, x-rays, and medical equipment. Find out what doctor you will need to see. If you are the employee of an employer with an approved MPN (medical provider network) you are required to receive treatment through the MPN, unless you have properly designated your own doctor prior to the injury (even if the pre-designated doctor is a provider in the medical provider network [8 CCR §9780.1, 8 CCR §9782]). If your employer is not part of a medical provider network you may have the option to choose your own doctor. It is important to discuss your options for your doctor choice with your employer.
- Temporary Total Disability Benefits (TTD) - Temporary total disability benefits may be available to Connecticut workers injured on the job who are totally disabled and not able to work. Temporary total disability benefits are 75% of the workers' spendable earnings. The average wage is determined by the wages earned up to 52 weeks before the date of the work injury. TTD benefits are not paid for the first three days. If the work injury and incapacity continues for more than 3 days, but less than seven days, according to Connecticut's workers compensation laws the "compensation shall begin at the expiration of the first three days of total or partial incapacity. If the incapacity continues for a period of seven days, compensation shall begin from the date of the injury".
- Temporary Partial Disability Benefits - Temporary partial disability benefits may be available to Connecticut employees who are able to work some type of job, even if they are unable to return to their previous employment. Benefits are paid if the employee is forced to work a reduced schedule or different type of job and is unable to make the same wage as they were able to make prior to their work injury.
Partial disability benefits are paid to an injured employee who suffers a partial incapacity from a work injury. The amount paid is "a weekly compensation equal to seventy-five per cent of the difference between the wages currently earned by an employee in a position comparable to the position held by the injured employee before his injury, after such wages have been reduced by any deduction for federal or state taxes, or both, and for the federal Insurance Contributions Act in accordance with section 31-310, and the amount he is able to earn after the injury, after such amount has been reduced by any deduction for federal or state taxes, or both, and for the federal Insurance Contributions Act in accordance with section 31-310". Exceptions exist. Temporary partial disability payments continue while the employee is incapacitated (up to a maximum established by state law).
- Permanent Total Disability - Permanent total disability payments are made based a percentage of the worker's wage, up to a maximum allowable payment amount. Benefits may also be awarded if the injured worker is disfigured. In some cases the amount awarded may be offset by the employee's Social Security benefits.
- Vocational rehabilitation - Vocational rehabilitation may be available to qualifying individuals who are unable to return to the job they had prior to their work injury. Vocational rehabilitation can include a variety of services that will help the employee find new employee given their current mental and physical health.
- Death Benefits - Death benefits may be paid to the spouse or spouse and child of a deceased employee who was killed in the course of employment. The amount of death benefits paid to the surviving beneficiaries is a percentage of the employee's wage (up to a limit outlined in Connecticut state law). Connecticut workers' compensation insurance will also provide a burial allowance.
Do You Need a Connecticut Worker's Compensation Attorney?
Workers compensation is available to workers who are injured or who become ill due to an accident or conditions at their worksite. If you have become sick or have been injured you may be able to recover lost wages and receive paid medical care through workers' compensation insurance which is provided by your employer.
Connecticut employers who have more than one employee are required by law to purchase workers' compensation insurance, and if an on the job injury occurs the claim must be filed with the Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commission within a specified time period.
Some cases of workers' compensation may not require the assistance of a Connecticut workers' compensation lawyer, but if your employer has denied you workers' compensation, your employer is not insured, your is underinsured, or you have a severe work injury that may make it difficult or impossible for you to find future employment, it may be a good idea to contact a workers' compensation lawyer.
How to proctect your Compensation Rights
Even though you can not sue your employer for a work-related injury, there are several things you need to do right away to protect your rights. First notify your employee immediately if you have been injured at work. There is a specified time for filing for workers' compensation benefits and failure to file prior to the deadline may forfeit your right to workers' compensation. Keep track of all of your expenses and any time you have missed from work. If you need more information about your rights under Connecticut workers' compensation law you can contact the Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commission.
Contact Information for Connecticut Workers' Compensation CommissionWorkers' Compensation Commission
21 Oak Street
Hartford, CT 06106
Phone: (860) 493-1500
Fax: (860) 247-1361