Workers’ compensation is a complicated program that was designed to support people who are injured on the job while they recover; or provide disability to workers who have injuries from which they will never fully recover. In some cases, workers’ compensation pays death benefits to the family of a worker who has died because of a work-related injury.
When a worker suffers an injury that results in an amputation, the permanent loss of use of a specific body part, scarring or disfigurement to the face, head, or neck, that worker is generally entitled to specific loss benefits. A worker may still be eligible for these benefits even if no work is missed.
The Loss of a Body Part
The loss of a body part can be traumatic physically, psychologically, and financially. It can result in a loss of confidence and it can limit physical abilities. Such an injury is permanent and life-altering, and it can be exceptionally difficult to deal with. When this type of a serious injury occurs on the job, the Workers’ Compensation Act outlines a list of body parts along with the number of weeks for which the injured worker can receive a portion of their lost wages. Compensable lost wages are typically calculated as two-thirds of your average weekly wage.
The number of weeks you can receive payment for your loss or impairment, per the body part lost, is as follows:
- Hand – 335 weeks
- Arm – 410 weeks
- Forearm – 370 weeks
- Foot – 250 weeks
- Leg – 410 weeks
- Lower leg – 350 weeks
- Eye – 275 weeks
- Thumb – 100 weeks
- Index finger – 50 weeks
- Middle finger – 40 weeks
- Ring finger – 30 weeks
- Little finger – 28 weeks
- Half of thumb or finger – half of the award
- Big toe – 40 weeks
- Other toes – 16 weeks
- Half of any toe – half of the award
- Ears (total hearing loss in both ears) – 260 weeks
- Ear (total hearing loss in one ear) – 60 weeks
- Ears (partial hearing loss in both ears) – multiply hearing impairment percentage by 260 weeks
- Ear (partial hearing loss in one ear) – multiply hearing impairment percentage by 60 weeks
- Disfigurement of the face, neck, or head – up to 275 weeks
As summarized by the Social Security Administration, specific loss benefits are paid to injured workers who are no longer able to use a specific body part, or who have lost a body part. According to the Workers’ Compensation Act, the loss of the use of a body part must be for all practical purposes. This means that the loss is more serious than an injury that would allow the worker to continue using that body part at work. There is no requirement that the body part be useless for benefits to be applicable. In many cases, “loss of use” is determined by a Workers’ Compensation judge. Testimony will come from the worker’s doctors, and any friends and family members who can help to demonstrate the severity of the worker’s loss.
Dealing with the complications of a work injury can be frustrating, time-consuming, and confusing. You need someone with experience to make sure you receive the benefits you deserve. Our hard-working legal team provides powerful advocacy and the right guidance to recover the maximum workers’ compensation benefits.
Reading Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Fight for Injured Workers’ Rights to Benefits
If you have suffered a permanent impairment of one or more body parts in a work accident, call a Reading workers’ compensation lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. at 888-PITT-LAW (888-748-8529) or contact us online for a free consultation.
We represent injured workers in Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County and throughout Pennsylvania, including those in the communities of Abington, Ambler, Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Bensalem, Clifton Heights, Crum Lynne, Darby, Downingtown, Doylestown, Drexel Hill, Essington, Folcroft, Glenolden, Haverford, Havertown, Holmes, Kutztown, Lansdowne, Media, Merion Station, Morton, Narberth, Norristown, Norwood, Philadelphia, Prospect Park, Quakertown, Reading, Roxborough, Sharon Hill, Upper Darby, West Chester and Wynnewood.