Injured workers in Oregon are eligible for a variety of different workers’ compensation benefits. Depending on the nature of your injury and its severity, you might receive wage loss benefits, medical treatment, and other compensation. Below, we explain how to calculate your workers’ comp benefits in Oregon.
In Oregon, the following types of benefits are available through workers’ comp:
In order to receive these benefits, you must file an Oregon workers’ compensation claim.
Temporary disability benefits are paid while you are recovering from your injuries. In Oregon, you may be eligible for either temporary total disability (TTD) or temporary partial disability (TPD). These benefits are typically not paid for your first three days off work, unless you are hospitalized overnight or your disability lasts more than two 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 TTD benefit ($1,280.80 as of July 1, 2017). TTD benefits are paid until you either return to work or reach maximum medical improvement (MMI). MMI occurs when your doctor determines that your condition will no longer improve with treatment.
If you can return to work, but you aren’t able to earn as much, Oregon workers’ comp pays a partial benefit. Your temporary partial disability 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).
Once your doctor determines you are at MMI, you will be evaluated for a permanent disability. 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 PTD benefit ($1,280.80 as of January 1, 2018). You will receive PTD benefits as long as you are totally disabled (potentially for life).
If you have a permanent, partial disability, your doctor will assign an impairment rating based on the percentage of total body function you have lost. There are two types of PPD benefits in Oregon—whole person impairment benefits and work disability benefits.
Whole person impairment benefits are paid regardless of whether you can work. Once you reach MMI, a doctor will evaluate the extent of your permanent disability and assign a percentage of total body function loss. Your whole person impairment benefits are calculated as follows:
% impairment x Oregon’s average weekly wage x 100
As of July 1, 2017, Oregon’s average weekly wage is $963.01. For example, suppose you injured your hand in January 2017 and receive a 10 percent impairment rating. You will receive $9,630.10 in whole person impairment benefits (0.1 x $963.01 x 100). Whole person impairment benefits are paid either in a lump sum or on a monthly basis.
If your permanent partial disability does not allow you return to your pre-injury job, you will also be eligible for work disability benefits. These benefits are calculated as follows:
% impairment x worker’s average weekly wage x 150
Your impairment rating will be adjusted for age, education, and ability to transition to new work (up to a maximum of 142%). This number will be multiplied by your average weekly wage (up to a maximum of $1,280.80) and then by 150.
Example: Suppose that you have a very serious permanent partial disability, that you receive a 142% impairment rating, and that your average weekly wage is the state’s maximum. You would receive the maximum award of $272,810.40 (1.42 x $1,280.80 x 150).
If an injury or illness results in death, the worker’s dependents may receive death benefits. In Oregon, surviving spouses and children may receive monthly benefits, up to the state’s maximum death benefit. Additionally, the insurance company must pay a lump sum benefit for the workers’ burial and funeral expenses, even if the family doesn’t actually spend that much.
Contact a lawyer immediately if the workers’ compensation insurance company disputes your claim, reduces your benefits, or assigns an inaccurate impairment rating. A workers’ compensation lawyer can evaluate your claim and ensure that you receive the maximum benefits allowed in your claim.