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Workers Compensation Statutory Limits



The workers' compensation system allows you to recover benefits if you were injured at work. There are, however, statutory limits on reporting and filing a claim, and there may be monetary limits - or no limits - on the various types of benefits.

Time limits

You have a set time to report an injury that occurred at work. The time limit is usually from one to three months.

There is also a time limit, or statute of limitations, on how long you can wait to file a claim with the workers' compensation agency before you are forever barred from filing the claim. Most states have time limits of one to three years.

Limits on benefits

Disability benefits are subject to limits regarding maximum and minimum weekly payments based on the severity of the injury and length of time the condition is expected to last:

  • Temporary partial - If you suffer a temporary injury but you can engage in light duty before returning to full duty, you can collect medical costs and difference in pay if you perform light duty at a reduced wage.
  • Temporary total - You are unable to work at all, but you can receive lost earnings subject to a maximum amount for the duration of the disability. You are usually cut off after a set number of weeks, which can be as high as 500.
  • Permanent partial - You have a permanent injury but may return to work somewhere. The various states limit benefits either for the duration of the disability, which may be forever; on the percentage of disability or for a maximum term ranging from a low of 200 to as much as 1,500 weeks.
  • Permanent total - You are permanently unable to return to work. Medical and other payments can last for a lifetime, to a certain age or for a maximum amount of weeks.
  • Death - Your dependents can collect a limited amount for funeral expenses and lost wages. The wages are calculated on your average weekly wages and may last for the life of your surviving spouse or up to a certain limit. Children may be entitled to certain benefits, as well.
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