Workers' Comp for Permanent Scarring or Disfigurement

States have different rules for compensating employees who've been left with scars or other disfigurement as a result of work-related injuries.

By , Attorney (University of San Francisco School of Law)
Updated by E.A. Gjelten, Legal Editor

If you have noticeable or painful scarring as a result of a workplace injury, you might wonder whether workers' comp benefits will cover this.

Here's what you need to know.

Does Workers' Comp Cover Permanent Scarring or Disfigurement?

In most states, workers' compensation provides benefits for permanent scarring or disfigurement resulting from work-related injuries or from treatment for those injures (such as surgery).

However, your eligibility for these benefits and the amount you'll receive depend on the state you live in.

In some states, permanent scars are factored into a worker's permanent disability rating. For example, in California, the doctor who assigns you a permanent disability rating (stated as a percentage from 0% to 100%) will take into account any scarring or disfigurement.

In other states, workers can receive a one-time payment for scars or disfigurement, up to a maximum amount set by law. For example, in Massachusetts, a worker can receive up to $15,000 for certain scarring and disfigurement.

The Location of the Scars Matters

The location of the scars may also be relevant in determining whether you're entitled to compensation. In most states, you can receive compensation for scars on the face, head, or neck.

Some states also allow workers to recover for scarring on arms, legs, or any other body part that would be exposed under certain circumstances (in a swimsuit or at work). However, a few states provide workers' comp benefits for scars to limbs and other body parts only if the scar causes a loss of function or limits the worker's ability to find employment.

Contact a Workers' Comp Lawyer

If you've suffered a workplace injury serious enough to leave permanent and noticeable scarring, don't hesitate to hire an experienced workers' comp attorney to handle your case.

Hiring a workers' comp lawyer gives you the best chance of getting all the benefits you deserve, and most workers' comp attorneys don't charge a fee unless you win your case.

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