Most Oklahomans enjoy the security of their employer having workers’ compensation insurance. Many workers are not aware of the extent of the benefits available, however. Workers’ compensation can cover medical expenses, lost wages resulting from temporary or permanent disability, and death benefits.
What benefits can an Oklahoma worker receive after suffering a permanent disability related to work responsibilities? Workers’ compensation benefits are determined by the extent of the disability. A worker who sustains permanent disability, but is not considered totally disabled because he or she can still do some type of work, can receive Permanent Partial Impairment benefits. PPI benefits are 70 percent of a worker’s weekly base salary. For injuries incurred between August 27, 2010 until August 26, 2015, benefits will not exceed $323 per week.
On the other hand, if a worker is left totally disabled by a workplace accident, the worker can be eligible for Permanent Total Disability. A worker will be entitled to benefits for 15 years or until the maximum age for Social Security retirement benefits, whichever period is longer. A worker can receive no less than 70 percent of their average weekly wage. PTD benefits for Oklahoma workers can reach the maximum weekly wage allowed by state law.
If an Oklahoma worker dies as a result of the workplace accident, can the worker’s family file for workers’ compensation benefits? Yes. A spouse, or a dependent child, can receive workers’ compensation benefits. Benefits can be provided as one lump sum or weekly benefits can also be obtained by the surviving spouse, depending on the wages earned by the worker and funeral expenses. However, benefits will cease if the surviving spouse remarries. A child’s benefits will also cease after the age of 18 years old, unless the child is enrolled in an academic institution or disabled.
Source: Owcc.state.ok.us, “Employee’s FAQs,” Accessed on Dec. 15, 2014
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