New legislation passed last year resulted in a number of changes to the Oklahoma workers’ compensation system, resulting in an increase in benefits paid to injured workers and additional opportunities to pursue injury claims against employers. Here are some of the changes affecting injured Oklahoma workers in 2020:
TTD and PPD Rate Changes
For injured workers currently receiving or approved to receive Temporary Total Disability (TTD), the number of weeks that you will be able to receive payments increased from 104 to 156 in 2020. In addition, the maximum allowable weekly TTD benefit was increased to 70% of the employee’s average weekly wage, with a maximum allowable amount of $853.
The new law also resulted in a small increase in Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) rates, to $350/week in 2020 and $360/week in 2021. The maximum number of weeks increased from 350 to 360, so injured workers may now qualify for up to 10 more weeks of payments.
Liability Loophole Closed
For many years, oil and gas companies used a loophole in state law to avoid responsibility for workers who were injured on the job. An Oklahoma State Supreme Court ruling found it is unconstitutional for employers to be protected from liability if their negligence resulted in injury to another company’s employee.
Work-Related Heart Attack/Stroke
Under previous state workers’ compensation laws, employees who suffered a stroke or heart attack caused by work-related stress could not hold their employers liable. Under the new law, employers can be held liable if it can be proven that an employee’s heart problems were caused by work-related stress.
Have you suffered a work-related injury? If so, contact the dedicated attorneys at Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. at once. Let us stand by your side and fight for the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve after a workplace injury. 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.