Each year, the Colorado Division of Workers’ Compensation makes minor changes to benefit caps to mainly satisfy a statutory requirement that benefits be capped at 91% of the state’s average weekly wage. These benefit rates are effective for injuries that occur in a given fiscal year – in Colorado, this runs from July 1st to June 30th of each year.
To be clear, these benefit caps only apply to wage loss benefits, not medical benefits. If you’re injured on the job, workers’ compensation is required to cover ALL medical expenses.
Also, these caps only apply for injuries occurring after July 1 of this year. So if you were injured on January 25th of this year, your benefit caps will be under the 2011-2012 limits for the duration of your case.
Benefits covered under these caps include:
- Temporary total disability
- Temporary partial disability
- Permanent total disability
- Death benefits
From July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012, the weekly maximum an injured worker or dependent could be paid was $828.03, which was 91% of the state’s average weekly wage at the time it was set. Effective July 1, 2012, this amount increased to $848.82 and includes weekly benefits for surviving spouses.
To qualify for this maximum amount, the injured worker has to earn $1273.23 per week – statutes also mandate that an injured worker be paid 2/3 of their average weekly wage.
Besides weekly wage loss benefits, caps for other workers’ comp benefits are changed each year too.
- Scheduled Impairment Rate – increased to $266.98 per week
- Maximum Limit for Disfigurement – increased to $4504 (one-time payout)
- Maximum Limit for Extensive Scars or Loss of Limb – increased to $9007 (one-time payout)
Other caps such as the maximum wage loss benefits for an entire claim, which includes weekly wage replacement benefits and lump-sum payouts following your final disability rating, change each year too. The following are effective for 2012-2013:
- Final Impairment Rating of 25% of less – increased to $78,482
- Final Impairment Rating of more than 25% – increased to $156,962
Again, there are NO caps on medical benefits. Your employer and their workers’ comp insurer are required to pay ALL expenses related to treating and helping you recover from your injuries.
To learn more about other limits to workers’ comp benefits (…excluding rates we discuss here), check out our page on benefit limitations or download our comprehensive Colorado Workers’ Compensation Guide for complete information on benefits, claims, etc. today.