If you suffer an injury or illness at work that interferes with your ability to do your job, Colorado’s workers’ compensation system can make up for your lost wages until you can return to work (if possible). Although workers’ comp will not cover 100 percent of your lost income, it can still help you and your family bridge a pay gap related to a medical condition – either temporarily or permanently.
In Colorado, two-thirds of a worker’s weekly wages are available for recovery through a workers’ compensation claim, subject to the state’s minimum and maximum limits. This means you can recover about 67 percent of all of the income and employment benefits that you will miss out on because of an occupational injury or illness. As of 2021, the maximum compensation benefit rate in Colorado is $1,074.22 per week. There are also various caps for lump-sum payments, bodily disfigurement and cases involving worker deaths.
There are two types of supplemental lost wage benefits for which you may also qualify: supplemental job displacement benefits and return-to-work supplement benefits. The first is a voucher that may be available if you suffer a permanent disability and your employer cannot offer you any other work. In this case, you may receive a job displacement voucher to help you pay for new job training or education. If you qualify for a supplemental job displacement voucher, you may also be eligible for a one-time payment of $5,000 through Colorado’s return-to-work supplement program.
The amount of money that you can receive in lost wage workers’ compensation depends on factors such as the extent of your injury, whether or not you are able to return to work, and your average weekly wages before your injury or illness. Colorado’s workers’ compensation system categorizes disability benefits into four types:
The amount of your lost wage recovery through a Colorado workers’ compensation claim will depend on your specific circumstances. If you believe that you are not being offered a fair or adequate amount in lost wage benefits from your employer’s insurance provider, consult with an attorney for assistance. An attorney can help you understand the value of your workers’ comp claim, as well as explore the possibility of filing a personal injury lawsuit for greater lost wage recovery. A lawsuit could allow you to recover 100 percent of your lost wages. Talk to a workers’ compensation attorney in Denver for more information.