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How does workers' comp classify your injury?

Sustaining an injury at work is naturally a fearful event. In that moment, you may not know what your future is going to look like. What is the extent of the injury? How long will it take to recover, or is full recovery not a possibility? Will you be able to work again?

It may take time to answer these questions, but they are important to answer because they affect the type of workers' compensation claim you can file. Different classifications for injuries exist, and each comes with its own benefits to help pay for medical bills and lost wages.

  • Temporary full disability: Your injury completely prevents you from working at all right now, but the expectation is that you will recover and be able to work again in the future.
  • Temporary partial disability: Your injury does not stop you from working in some way, but you may have to do different tasks and/or work less often, thus lowering the amount of money you make. However, the change in employment only lasts until you recover.
  • Permanent full disability: Your injury is so catastrophic that you will never be able to work again. 
  • Permanent partial disability: Your injury is not so severe that you cannot work, but you will never return back to your normal pre-accident condition.

Which category your injury falls under depends on many factors, including the feedback from the doctors who evaluated and treated you. You may even have to go through a trial work period. In general, the more severe and long-lasting the injury is, the more money you will get and the longer you will get it.

It is important to know that this information also applies to diseases you may have developed on the job, not just injuries you sustain. For example, if you had consistent, long-term exposure to a harmful substance that ended up causing you cancer, that would qualify for workers' compensation, too.

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