Most people who injure themselves at work recover from their injury or illness at some point and can return to work. However, in a small subset of cases, the injury is too severe or the condition is ongoing, resulting in a permanent disability.
A permanently disabled worker must continue to care for themselves and their family. Mississippi’s workers’ compensation laws aim to address this problem, at least partially.
Temporary versus permanent benefits
Most states offer temporary and permanent workers’ compensation benefits, and Mississippi is no exception. However, when you hear the word “permanent,” you may think that means forever. However, unfortunately, that is not the case.
Permanent disability benefits
Mississippi’s permanent workers’ compensation benefits do not last for the rest of your life. The maximum is 450 weeks, which equals about 8.5 years. While these benefits do not last your entire life, it should give you time to find a longer-term source of financial and health care benefits.
Types of permanent benefits
Mississippi separates permanent workers’ compensation benefits into two categories:
- Permanent partial disability benefits
- Permanent total disability benefits
The difference between the two lies in the type and severity of the disability and whether you can still work at all. If your disability allows you to work a certain number of hours or to work with a reduced workload, you could be entitled to two-thirds of the earnings you made before your injury.
A permanent disability that does not allow you to work at all can also entitle you to the same amount in addition to any “reasonable and necessary” medical treatment. The goal of treatment is to cure you as much as possible.
Getting the benefits you need and deserve after being injured or hurt at work can be challenging sometimes. Lots of paperwork and information is necessary to process a claim, especially for permanent benefits. Understanding the law and how Mississippi’s workers’ compensation program works is critical so you can make the best decisions for yourself.