Injured workers in Indiana are eligible for a variety of valuable workers’ compensation benefits, including wage replacement benefits and medical treatment. (To learn how to start the claims process, read our article on filing an Indiana workers’ comp claim.) Learn how your Indiana workers’ comp benefits are calculated below.
In Indiana, the following types of benefits are available through workers’ comp:
Your eligibility for specific benefits will depend on the nature of your injuries, the extent of your permanent limitations, and your ability to return to work.
Indiana sets a maximum weekly workers’ compensation benefit each year (as of July 1, 2016, $780 per week). And, injured workers cannot receive compensation for certain types of losses. For example, workers' comp does not provide compensation for pain and suffering (the mental and physical stress you experienced because of your injury).
Temporary disability benefits are paid while you are recovering from your injuries. In Indiana, you may be eligible for either temporary total disability (TTD) or temporary partial disability (TPD). Temporary disability benefits are not paid for your first seven days off work unless your disability lasts more than three weeks.
If you’re unable to perform any type of work, you will be eligible for temporary total disability (TTD) benefits. These benefits are two-thirds of your average weekly wage (up to the state’s maximum benefit). TTD benefits are paid until you:
If you believe the insurance company improperly terminated your benefits, contact a workers’ comp lawyer.
If you can return to work, but you are unable to earn as much, Indiana workers’ comp pays a partial benefit. Your temporary partial disability (TPD) benefit is two-thirds of the difference between your pre-injury and post-injury wages. For example, if you used to earn $750 in weekly wages, but you now can only earn $350, you would get $266.67 in TPD benefits ($750 - $350 = $400; .6666 x $400 = $266.67.) You can receive up to 300 weeks of TPD benefits.
Once your doctor determines you are at MMI, you will be evaluated for permanent disability benefits. If your injury or occupational illness prevents you from performing any type of work, you will be entitled to permanent total disability (PTD) benefits. PTD benefits are two-thirds of your average weekly wage, up to the state’s maximum benefit (in other words, the same amount as your TTD rate). You will receive PTD benefits for up to 500 weeks.
In Indiana, there are two types of permanent partial impairment (PPI) benefits—scheduled loss benefits and unscheduled benefits. These benefits are available regardless of whether you lose time from work or suffer a reduction in wages. You become eligible for PPI benefits once you have reached MMI.
You are eligible for scheduled loss benefits if you've had an amputation of, or lost the functional use of, a body part listed in Indiana’s schedule. For amputation or a total loss of use of a listed body part, you will receive benefits based on the state’s scheduled rates. Your scheduled loss benefit rate is not based on your average weekly wage. Instead, each scheduled injury is assigned a “degree” value.
Indiana’s schedule of body parts is set out in its workers’ compensation law. (Ind. Code Ann. § 22-3-3-10.) This schedule assigns a degree of impairment for each listed body part, including:
The state also publishes an annual degree schedule on the Workers’ Compensation Board’s website. This schedule assigns a monetary value to each degree of impairment. Depending on the number of degrees you’re assigned, your award will vary. As of July 1, 2017, the schedule pays the following:
Benefits are paid proportionately. For example, suppose your doctor determines that you have lost 50 percent of the use of your hand. Indiana assigns a degree value of 40 degrees to this body part. Your benefit will be:
Typically this total benefit is paid over time, on a weekly basis. However, you can request a lump sum payment. PPI benefits are paid in addition to 125 weeks of TTD benefits. (TTD benefits exceeding 125 weeks are subtracted from your PPI payments.)
If you injured a body part that's not listed on Indiana’s schedule, you may be eligible for unscheduled benefits. Unscheduled benefits are based on the amount of total bodily function you have lost. Once you reach MMI, your doctor will evaluate your level permanent disability and assign a degree of impairment. (For example, a 10% impairment is 10 degrees.)
You will receive the same amount per degree as scheduled injuries. For example, suppose a lung injury results in a 10% permanent impairment. You will receive $17,500 in unscheduled PPI benefits (10 degrees x $1,750 = $17,500).
If an injury or illness results in death, the worker’s dependents may receive death benefits. Death benefits are two-thirds of the worker’s average weekly wage (up to the state’s maximum). Benefits are paid for up to 500 weeks. Additionally, the insurance company must pay up to $7,500 for the worker’s reasonable funeral and burial expenses.
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 discussing whether you need a lawyer for your workers’ comp case.)