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What type of workers' compensation benefits are available?

An on-the-job injury can turn your life upside down. Not only are you trying to recover from your injuries, but you may find that your family is suffering because you are not able to work and provide financially. Workers' compensation is in place to help injured workers financially by paying for medical expenses, lost wages and other benefits until an employee is able to return to work.

There are several types of benefits available for injured workers from workers' compensation. These include:

-- Wage reimbursement benefits: An injured worker is eligible to have any lost wages reimbursed, including time spent at the doctor's office, traveling to and from a Workers' Compensation Commission hearing and more.

--- Medical benefits: Expenses dealing with the medical treatment of an injured worker are generally covered, including medical, surgical and hospital services, prescription medications, crutches, artificial limbs and more.

-- Temporary total disability benefits: This is what is commonly referred to as "the healing period." When an injured employee is not able to work at all, he or she may receive this benefit after 14 days from the date of disability.

-- Temporary partial disability benefits: This benefit is available to an injured worker who is able to work in some capacity. He or she may only be able to work part-time, which could result in pay cut. The worker shall receive compensation that is equal to 50 percent of the difference between his or her average weekly wage and the earning capacity of the worker in his or her regular position. This benefit is supposed to replace the worker's lost income during the time when worker can't work at all.

-- Permanent total disability benefits: If the worker's injury results in a permanent total disability, he or she will receive two-thirds of his or her average weekly wage.

-- Permanent partial disability benefits: If the worker ends up with some permanent impairment, he or she will receive compensation of at least $50 a week for a number of weeks as dictated by the Workers' Compensation Act.

-- Vocational rehabilitation benefits: If an injured worker is not able to perform the work they were previously trained and qualified for, then he or she may qualify for up to 24 months of training and other vocational services.

If you have been injured at work, an attorney can help you determine what your legal options are.

Source: Maryland.gov, "Available Benefits: Types," accessed June 21, 2017

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