According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), amputations often occur when workers are operating printing presses, meat grinders, power press brakes, and other machinery. Sadly, amputations are among the most serious and disabling workplace injuries. An amputation can completely disrupt your life, so it’s important to understand how workers’ compensation benefits can help.
Do Workers’ Compensation Benefits Cover Amputations?
The short answer to this question is yes. An amputation is considered a permanent partial disability, since it is a permanent condition that affects a specific part of your body. Typically, permanent partial disability benefits are only awarded to injured workers who are unable to perform their job duties, but still able to perform alternative work. However, an amputation is considered a permanent partial disability regardless of whether the worker went back to his pre-injury position.
For example, let’s say your finger was amputated due to a work-related injury. Despite the loss of a finger, you are still able to return to the job you held prior to the injury. Even though the amputation has not prevented you from performing your job duties, you are still entitled to permanent partial disability benefits.
How Workers Are Compensated For Amputations
Workers are compensated 70% of their average weekly wage, not to exceed $323, for an amputation. The number of weeks that permanent partial disability benefits are awarded to injured workers will vary depending on the body part that was amputated. The more serious the amputation, the longer the benefits will be awarded.
For example, a worker who has had his fifth toe amputated is only entitled to receive these benefits for a total of 11 weeks. This is because losing a small toe does not significantly impact the worker’s life. However, if a worker has his arm amputated at the elbow, he can receive permanent partial disability benefits for up to 275 weeks.
To calculate how much you will receive for an amputation, simply take your average weekly wage and multiply it by the number of weeks you are entitled to benefits. Take another look at the toe amputation example above. If your average weekly wages were $323, you would receive a total of $3,553, or $323 times 11 weeks.
Have you suffered the loss of a body part because of a work-related injury? If so, contact Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. Our attorneys have years of experience helping workers recover the compensation they deserve after suffering devastating injuries. Call us now at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.