How long you can collect workers’ comp in Indiana depends on the type of benefits you qualify for and the severity of your injuries. The maximum amount of time to receive benefits is 500 weeks.
Learn the factors that impact how long you can collect workers’ compensation benefits and what to expect in the process.
What Is Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI)?
The duration of your benefits coverage will depend on when your doctor deems that you have reached your maximum medical improvement (MMI). At that point, your doctor will determine that you have plateaued in your care and overall condition. Your doctor does not believe you can improve from this point.
This could happen within a few weeks of your injury or up to 500 weeks into your care. But even once you’ve reached your maximum state of improvement, you might not be able to return to your original role.
At that point, you might take on a part-time or light-duty job that earns you less than your normal wages. During this time, you might be eligible for temporary partial disability benefits. These benefits are two-thirds the difference between what you’re earning currently and your normal weekly wages up to $780 a week. You can collect these benefits for up to 300 weeks.
How Do Permanent Disability Benefits Work?
Your doctor may determine that you suffered total or permanent disability. If that happens, you’ll still be eligible for weekly benefits of two-thirds of your normal salary up to $780 a week for up to 500 weeks.
Permanent disability applies to workers who suffer debilitating injuries and are not able to return to their work. The worker also does not have other work readily available to them.
What Is the Overall Limit on Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Indiana has placed a maximum benefit allowance on benefits for accidents happening after June of 2016. The most you can collect in benefits is $390,000 according to Indiana Code § 22-3-3-22(t) (2020).
What Medical Bills Are Eligible Under Workers’ Compensation?
Wage replacement is only one part of workers’ compensation benefits. The other part is paying for the medical bills required for treating your injury. This can include coverage for the following aspects of treatment:
- Medical care: all reasonable and necessary medical care is covered under workers’ compensation. You should not be responsible for copays or deductibles.
- Reasonable travel expenses: if your medical care requires that you travel outside the county where you live, workers’ compensation benefits should cover reasonable travel expenses. However, Indiana law permits the workers’ compensation insurance company to select your medical providers, meaning it’s unlikely you’ll be traveling far.
- Vocational rehabilitation: your injuries might prevent you from returning to the work you have training and experience for. If so, your work comp benefits might cover vocational rehabilitation services to prepare you for a new career and assistance in finding a job you’re capable of doing.
- Funeral expenses and death benefits: the spouse or dependents of an employee who dies as a result of a workplace injury can file for death benefits. This only applies if the employee passes away within 500 weeks of the injury date. If that happens, dependents receive wage benefits for the remaining eligible period up to a total of 500 weeks from the time the employee began drawing benefits. Workers’ compensation benefits also cover up to $10,000 for funeral expenses.
Insurance companies tend to make workers’ compensation claims complicated and confusing for injured workers. You shouldn’t have to deal with the stress or unknown of working through these claims on your own.
Stewart & Stewart is a team of skilled attorneys who will ensure you get the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve. Schedule a free consultation now to learn more about your rights and what to expect in the workers’ compensation claims process.