Injured workers in Connecticut are eligible for a series of workers’ compensation benefits. Your benefits will vary, depending on the nature of your injuries, your ability to work, and other factors. Below, we explain how workers’ comp benefits are calculated in Connecticut. (To receive these benefits, you will need to file a Connecticut workers’ compensation claim.)
Connecticut provides temporary disability benefits for those who are unable to work or who work at reduced wages while they are recovering from their injuries. Temporary disability benefits are paid until you either return to work at your full wages or you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI). MMI occurs when your doctor determines that your condition will no longer improve with treatment.
If you’re unable to perform any type of work, you will be eligible for temporary total disability (TTD) benefits. These benefits are 75 percent of your average weekly wage after taxes, up to the state’s maximum TTD benefit (as of October 1, 2017, $1,287). However, these benefits are not paid for your first three days off work, unless your disability lasts more than a week.
If you can return to work, but you aren't able to earn as much, Connecticut workers’ comp pays a partial benefit. Your temporary partial disability (TPD) benefit is 75 percent of the difference between your pre-injury and post-injury wages after taxes, up to the state’s maximum TPD benefit (as of October 1, 2017, $1,023). For example, if you used to earn $650 in weekly wages, but you now can only earn $300, you would get $262.50 in TPD benefits ($650 - $300 = $350; .75 x $350 = $262.50).
Once your doctor determines you are at MMI, you will be evaluated for a permanent disability. Connecticut workers’ comp law presumes you are permanently and totally disabled if you have:
Other injuries will also qualify if they prevent you from performing any type of work. PTD benefits are 75 percent of your average weekly wage after taxes, up to the state’s maximum benefit (in other words, the same as your TTD rate). You will receive PTD benefits as long as you are totally disabled (potentially for life).
You are eligible for permanent partial disability benefits if you've had an amputation of, or lost the functional use of, a body part listed in Connecticut’s schedule. For an amputation or a total loss of use of a listed body part, you will receive benefits for the period of time stated in the schedule. Your PPD benefit rate is the same as your TTD rate (75 percent of your after-tax average weekly wage), subject to the state’s minimum and maximum PPD benefits (as of October 1, 2017, $50 and $1,023).
Connecticut’s schedule is very comprehensive and covers a wide variety of body parts, organs, and sensory functions (such as vision, hearing, and taste). For example, the schedule lists the following number of weeks for the stated body part:
For partial loss of use, PPD benefits are also paid on a proportionate basis. For example, suppose an injury causes you to lose 50 percent of your lung’s function. You would receive 58.5 weeks of PPD benefits (50% of 117 weeks = 58.5 weeks).
Connecticut also pays up to 208 weeks of compensation for scarring and disfigurement of the face, head, neck, or any other body part that would impact the workers’ ability to find work. The Workers’ Compensation Commission considers the severity and location of the scar or disfigurement when awarding benefits.
Once your PPD payments end, you may be eligible for additional discretionary benefits if you have an ongoing wage loss. Discretionary benefits are 75 percent of the after-tax difference between your pre-injury and post-injury wages (similar to TPD payments). The Commission can award up to 250 weeks of discretionary benefits.
If an injury or illness results in death, the worker’s dependents may receive death benefits. Death benefits are 75 percent of the worker’s after-tax average weekly wage (up to the state’s maximum benefit). Additionally, the insurance company must pay up to $4,000 for the worker’s reasonable funeral and burial expenses.
Cost of living increases are given each year for PTD and weekly death benefits. Your cost of living adjustment will vary, depending on your date of injury and average weekly wage. These increases should be automatically made by the insurance company, but you should double check.
Contact a lawyer immediately if the workers’ compensation insurance company disputes your claim or reduces your benefits. A workers’ compensation lawyer can evaluate your claim and ensure that you receive the maximum benefits allowed in your claim. (For more information, see our article on whether you need a workers’ comp lawyer.)