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How long do Kentucky workers’ comp disability benefits last?

On Behalf of | Mar 13, 2024 | workers' compensation

An on-the-job injury in Kentucky could inspire many challenges. Workers might require medical treatment for an injury related to their employment. They might require time away from work while they heal. Particularly if someone works in a blue-collar profession, an injury might prevent them from performing their usual job responsibilities.

Some work-acquired medical conditions might be severe enough to warrant hospitalization or to require surgery. Those who qualify for workers’ compensation don’t just receive medical benefits. The disability benefits available through workers’ compensation can pay up to two-thirds of someone’s average weekly wages while they are unable to work.

How long do temporary disability benefits last for injured employees in Kentucky?

Each disability benefits claim is unique

Kentucky does not impose a specific limitation on temporary disability benefits. The benefits are available for as long as a worker is unable to return to work but still potentially capable of doing so with medical treatment.

If someone requires rest followed by several months of physical therapy, their benefits might last until they finally overcome their symptoms. Temporary disability benefits may also end when the doctor overseeing the worker’s care decides that they have achieved maximum medical improvement (MMI). When a patient may no longer respond to treatment, they either return to work or may need to seek permanent disability benefits.

The state may offer permanent total disability benefits if they are completely unable to work or partial disability benefits if they can only work a lower-paying job. There is no set date  when a worker must convert their temporary benefits to permanent ones. So long as someone is potentially able to return to work with treatment, there is no automatic termination date for their temporary disability benefits during a workers’ compensation claim.

There are cases in which workers may lose their benefits while remaining unable to work due to medical non-compliance. If the employer or insurance company can reasonably assert that someone’s lack of improvement stems from a refusal to undergo recommended treatment or follow medical instructions, that conduct could affect someone’s eligibility for ongoing benefits.

If a worker disagrees with a determination, such as a doctor’s claim that they have reached MMI and may not respond to future treatment, they may be able to appeal those decisions. Understanding the rules for different workers’ compensation benefits, and seeking legal guidance whenever necessary, can help workers pursue the support they need and deserve.