In Idaho, hurt workers are eligible for a number of benefits under workers compensation law. Depending on the type and extent of your injury—and your ability to work—you could receive medical benefits, disability benefits, and even vocational retraining.
Hurt workers in Idaho may receive two types of reimbursement for lost wages while they are recuperating from work injuries.These are called Temporary Total Disability Benefits (TTD) and Temporary Partial Disability Benefits (TPD).
In general, you won’t receive benefits for your first five days of missed work unless you’re disabled for more than 14 days, or unless your injuries require an overnight stay at the hospital. As of 2018, the state’s maximum benefit rate is $677.70 per week.
You’ll be eligible to receive TTD benefits for a period of time if: (1) you do not work; and (2) your doctor excuses you from work in writing, or (1) you do not work; and (2) your doctor assigns you you light duty work restrictions that your employer cannot accommodate.
For the first 52 weeks of your recovery, you’ll receive 67% of your average weekly wage (AWW), after which you’ll receive 67% of the state’s AWW.
You’ll continue to receive these rates until you’ve either returned to work or reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) for your injury, as determined by your doctor. MMI means that your condition won’t improve with additional treatment.
TPD benefits are paid to hurt workers who do return to work during their recovery, but at a lower wage or for fewer hours, and as a result, their pay is lower than it was prior to injury. TPD benefits amount to 67% of the difference between an employee’s pre- and post-injury wages.
For example, if you made $1,000 per week before your injury and $500 per week after your injury, TPD would pay you $335 per week on top of your reduced wage. You would continue to receive TPD benefits until you return to your normal wage or you reach MMI.
After reaching MMI, you’ll again be evaluated by your doctor, this time to see if you’re eligible for permanent disability benefits. You may be compensated for scheduled losses (assigned by statute) or for unscheduled losses (a whole person impairment rating assigned by a doctor). A scheduled (statutory) loss or an unscheduled (whole person impairment rating) loss will determine the number of weeks you will be paid. The amount you will be paid per week is 55% of Idaho’s average weekly wage.
Scheduled losses involve amputations or a total loss of the use of a body part listed in the state’s schedule. If you suffer from a scheduled loss, you’ll receive disability benefits for the number of weeks stated in the schedule. For example:
Idaho’s schedule is very detailed, and your workers comp attorney can help you work through the details, or you can check for yourself here.
Although Idaho’s schedule is very detailed, some injuries aren’t included—such as injuries to the back, lungs, or neck.
Disability benefits in these situations are calculated based on a percentage of your entire body. Once you’ve reached MMI, your doctor will evaluate you to determine how much total body function you’ve lost and give you a “whole person impairment rating.” If you suffer from an unscheduled loss, you’ll receive disability benefits for the number of weeks based on a whole person impairment rating. For example, since a whole body is valued at 500 weeks of benefits, a 10% whole person impairment rating would make you eligible to receive 50 weeks of benefits.
Following MMI, if you’re able to return to work, and you are assigned a whole person impairment rating by your doctor, you are eligible for PPI benefits. PPI in Idaho is calculated by taking the number of weeks of benefits (based on the schedule or whole person impairment rating) times the benefit rate (55% of Idaho’s average weekly wage). PPI benefits are paid monthly.
Following MMI, if you’re able to return to work but not at your previous job, if you are assigned a whole person impairment rating by your doctor, and if you can prove that your employability has been seriously diminished by your injury, you may be eligible for PPD benefits.
PPD focuses on factors like education, literacy, age, and past work experience that may impede your ability to find employment. For example, your injury may leave you with a 15% PPI rating. However, a worker with less than a high school diploma and who has a difficult time reading will likely have a tougher time finding work than someone with a college degree and no learning disabilities, even if they have the same PPI rating.
PPD in Idaho is calculated by taking the number of weeks of benefits (based on the schedule or whole person impairment rating) times the benefit rate (55% of Idaho’s average weekly wage). PPD benefits are paid monthly.
Total Perm benefits are paid to workers with permanent injuries who cannot work at all. Total Perm benefits are paid at 67% of Idaho’s average weekly wage, which is $504.51 as of 2018. You’ll receive Total Perm benefits for as long as you remain totally disabled, which could potentially be for life.
If an illness or injury results in death, the worker’s family could receive death benefits for a period of no more than 500 weeks. Surviving minor children, spouses and other dependents could be eligible for a weekly payment.
Although the amount varies, it depends on the worker’s number of dependents and marital status, and cannot be higher than the state’s maximum weekly benefit. The worker’s family may also be eligible for up to $6,000 in funeral and burial expenses.
Making sense of the numerous benefits available to hurt Idaho workers is a daunting task, but it’s one that your Idaho workers compensation attorney will help with.
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