If you were injured while working in New Hampshire, you are eligible for a series of workers’ compensation benefits. While eligibility varies based on the circumstances of your injury, you may be entitled to disability benefits, medical treatment, and vocational rehabilitation. (To receive these benefits you must first file a New Hampshire workers’ comp claim.) Learn more about how to calculate your New Hampshire’s workers’ comp benefits below.
If you’re unable to perform any type of work due to your injury, you will be eligible for total disability benefits (sometimes called “weekly indemnity benefits”). Total disability benefits are 60 percent of your average weekly wage (AWW), subject to the state’s minimum and maximum benefits (as of July 1, 2017, $307.50 and $1,537.50). Benefits begin after you’ve missed three days off work; if your disability lasts more than 14 days, you will be paid retroactively for the first three days.
You will continue to receive these benefits until you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI)—when your doctor finds that you’ve improved as much as you’re going to. If you’re still totally disabled at this point, benefits will continue for as long as your disability does.
Temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits are paid to workers who can work while recovering from their injuries, but at lower wages than normal. TPD benefits are 60 percent of the difference between your pre-injury and post-injury wages. For example, suppose you earned $600 before your injury, but you are now working a light-duty job that pays only $300 a week. Your weekly TPD benefit would be $180 ($600 - $300 = $300; .6 x $300 = $180).
TPD benefits are paid until you return to work at your normal wages or reach MMI, or for a maximum of 262 weeks.
If you have permanent limitations after reaching MMI, but you can still work in some capacity, you may be eligible for a permanent impairment award. New Hampshire pays permanent impairment benefits for either scheduled losses or whole body injuries. These awards are paid in a lump sum and are in addition to temporary disability benefits.
A scheduled loss involves an amputation or the permanent loss of use of a body part listed in New Hampshire’s schedule of loss. You will receive 60 percent of your AWW, up to the maximum benefit (as of July 1, 2016, $1,507.50), for the number of weeks stated in the schedule. The following is a sample from the schedule:
For partial amputations or partial functional loss of a listed body part, you will receive benefits for a proportionate number of weeks. For example, if you have a 50 percent loss of use of your thumb, you will receive 38 weeks of benefits (76 weeks x 0.5 = 38 weeks).
The following partial disabilities are compensated as whole body impairments:
Once you reach MMI, your doctor will evaluate you and determine how much total body function you have lost (stated as a percentage). You will receive 60% of your AWW, up the state’s maximum benefit, for up to 350 weeks, depending on the severity of your disability.
For example, suppose you have permanent nerve damage in your spine—resulting in a 30% permanent impairment—and your pre-injury average weekly wage was $300. Your weekly rate would be $180 (60% of $300), multiplied by 105 weeks (30% of 350 weeks), for a total of $18,900.
If an injury or illness results in death, the worker’s family may receive death benefits. Surviving spouses, minor children, and other dependents are eligible for a weekly benefit payment. Additionally, the insurance company must pay up to $10,000 for funeral and burial expenses.
Many workers have difficulty determining their eligibility for workers’ comp benefits. If you need help calculating your benefits or understanding your legal rights, consider contacting a New Hampshire workers’ compensation lawyer. A lawyer can ensure that you receive proper compensation for your work-related injuries. To learn more, see our article on what to look for in a workers’ comp lawyer.