An Oregon workers’ compensation claim comes with a range of benefits, some of them very valuable. Depending on your circumstances, you will receive one or more of these benefits:Time Loss
This is effectively wage loss. Time loss is paid through at least one and up to two phases. First, time loss is paid while the workers’ compensation carrier is assessing your claim and for as long as your doctor keeps you off work. The carrier has up to 60-days to accept or deny your claim and must do so in writing. Time loss paid during this interim period is called “interim time loss.” The carrier must make the first payment no later than the 14th day after your employer receives notice of your claim.If your claim is denied, time loss stops.
If your claim is accepted, time loss continues for as long as your doctor keeps you off work or until your claim is closed. Your claim is closed after your treating doctor or an examiner hired by the worker’s compensation carrier determines that you are medically stationary. You are considered medically stationary if your condition is unlikely to improve with the passage of time.
Time loss is paid at the rate of 66.67 percent of your average weekly wage up to a weekly maximum of $1,118.88.
Time loss must be authorized in writing by your treating doctor; you may not rely on a verbal understanding that time loss has been authorized.Medical Services
If your condition involves only a stand-alone injury that is found compensable, you are entitled to reasonable medical services for conditions caused in material part by your injury. If your condition is consequential to your compensable injury or if your compensable injury has combined with another condition, you are entitled to reasonable medical services caused in major part by your compensable injury. The services requested must be of proven effectiveness and not experimental. If a request for medical services is denied, you may appeal the denial.Permanent Partial Disability
If your claim has been accepted as “disabling,” you are entitled to an award for any permanent partial impairment you have sustained. Impairment means the loss of use or function of a body part or system caused by your compensable injury or disease. You are always free to appeal the Award.
You may cash the Award even while you appeal. If the Award is large, it will be paid in installments. When your Award is being paid in installments, you may request a lump sum payment by waiving your right to appeal.
How is the Award calculated? If you have returned to your work at injury, the Award is based only on permanent loss of such factors as range of motion, strength, and loss of the ability to use repetitively the injured body part or system. These values are measured according to opinion from your treating doctor, specific standards created by the Oregon Workers’ Compensation Division to measure permanent partial disability, and, if you appeal your Award, by a medical arbiter assigned to examine you.
If you are restricted permanently from returning to your work at injury, you are entitled, additionally, to a “work disability.” This is based on your age, education, your adaptability to perform other work, and a multiplier based on your average weekly wage.Permanent Total Disability
You are entitled to an award for permanent total disability if you have lost use or function of any portion of your body which permanently incapacitates you from regularly performing any work at a gainful and suitable occupation. You must prove this is so after proving that you are willing to seek gainful employment and have made every reasonable effort to do so. If you are found permanently and totally disabled, you will receive continuing time loss payments. Your case will be periodically reviewed to find out if your condition has improved sufficiently to allow gainful and suitable employment.Vocational Retraining
You are entitled to vocational assistance if you have a permanent disability caused by your compensable injury, cannot return to your job at injury or another job with the employer-at-injury that pays at least 80% of pre-injury wages, and if you are authorized to work in the United States.