Understanding workers’ compensation in Connecticut

Understanding Connecticut’s system for providing workers’ compensation assistance after a workplace-related injury or illness is important.

Any employee in Connecticut can be subject to a workplace accident or other situation that results in injury, death or illness. Records from the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2012 show that 4.2 out of every 100 workers in Connecticut were affected by non-fatal illnesses or injuries. Many of these incidents no doubt resulted in the filing of claims for workers' compensation benefits.

What is the workers' compensation claim process?

The first thing that must happen after either an injury accident or the onset of an illness is the reporting of the situation by the employee to the employer. As noted by the State of Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commission, the sooner any incident is reported, the better.

Medical care is to be sought should be accepted by the employer's preferred provider although an employee can opt to seek medical treatment by another provider but must be willing to pay for it separate from the workers' compensation program. The employer is required to then file reports with the insurer and the state.

The employee's filing of a formal workers' compensation claim with the state must happen within three years after the first symptoms appeared for illnesses and within one year from the date of an injury resulting from an accident.

What are the basic benefits provided for injuries or illnesses?

An approved claimant will be eligible to receive up to three-fourths of a normal week's net earnings. If a total incapacitation is deemed to have resulted, the benefits may continue indefinitely. If a partial incapacitation is deemed to have resulted, the benefits will be paid only for limited time periods based upon the nature of the case.

Conditions that qualify as total incapacitation include mental illness, blindness or loss of vision to 1/10 th of normal and the loss or paralysis of at least one extremity.

What are the basic benefits provided in the case of death?

When an employee's death is due to a workplace illness or injury, the party responsible for burial is paid $4,000. Dependents may qualify for up to 75 percent of the employee's net earnings with appropriate cost of living wage increases over time. Surviving spouses can also receive benefits until they die or remarry.

Getting help matters

There are many nuances involved in the workers' compensation claim process. For this reason, working with an attorney who understands all aspects of the laws and procedures is always recommended.

Keywords: workers' compensation, workplace, worksite, injury