Can my workers' compensation benefits be capped?

There has been a good deal of controversy over the extent to which workers' compensation laws should provide benefits to injured employees. Many states put a cap on the amount of wage benefits that the employee can receive. In some jurisdictions the employee can receive no more than five hundred weeks of wage benefits, which is the equivalent of approximately ten years of benefits. This is to the advantage of the employer in that it puts a limitation on the employer's or the insurer's liability.

However, it may be a detriment to the employee if the employee is permanently disabled and cannot return to any form of work. If in fact the employee is permanently and totally disĀ­abled, then he or she may be able to extend those benefits under state law. However, proving that a worker is both permanently and totally disabled is not an easy task. As such, in many states employees are left in a situation in which they cannot return to their former employment, yet at the end of the allowable time their wage benefits are terminated.

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