Workers' Compensation laws in Missouri and Kansas provide for three primary types of benefits for a person who is injured while performing work-related duties.
- a. Medical treatment. The employee is entitled to receive medical treatment for the work-related injury and does not have to pay for that treatment. The employer or insurer makes payment. But remember that the employer has the right by law to select the physician. So if you seek treatment that has not been authorized, you may have to pay for that treatment yourself.
- b. Temporary total disability (TTD) is compensation for the time the doctor says you are unable to work because of the injury. Those benefits are calculated at two-thirds of your average weekly wage not to exceed a maximum rate set by the legislature. Your average weekly wage is determined according to how your wages are fixed, whether by the week, by the month, by the year or by some other method, such as amount of sales. Temporary total disability benefits cease when the doctor says you are able to return to work. Although those wages are only two-thirds of your average wage, it is important to remember they are tax-free.
- c. Compensation for a permanent impairment or disability. Once a doctor has done all he or she feels can be done medically to help you, and you are not as physically able as you were before the injury, then you have a disability. And if there isn't anything else the doctor can do to make you any better, your disability will be "permanent," meaning you will suffer the effect of the injury from that point on. That disability will either be "total" meaning you are unable to perform any work, or "partial" which means you are able to work but there are limitations or restrictions as to what you are able to do. Compensation is for the disability only. The law does not provide compensation for pain and suffering. Because medicine is not an exact science, and because of a variety of other factors, the determination of your impairment or disability or even whether you have been provided all of the medical treatment that you need can vary widely from doctor to doctor, which can greatly affect not only your right to compensation but your ultimate physical condition and ability to return to work following a work injury.