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Can workers' compensation restart if a relapse or injuries recur?

For Connecticut workers who suffer a workplace accident injury or have an occupational disease, workers' compensation benefits are in place to provide for them while they cannot work. Some cannot get back on the job, but some can. Many are eventually able and willing to try to get back to work. However, recurrence or relapse is a potential problem and a lingering concern. Fortunately, the law accounts for this possibility.

If a person who has gotten workers' compensation went back to work and then suffered from partial or total incapacity due to a relapse or recurrence from the issue that led to the workers' compensation benefits being provided in the first place, the worker will again receive benefits. The amount will be 75 percent of the average weekly amount earned on the date of the initial injury or illness, or the amount earned at the time of the relapse or recurrence, whichever is higher.

It cannot be more than the rates set by the law, if the worker is totally incapacitated, nor can it be more than 100 percent of the average weekly earnings of production and related workers in manufacturing in the state. For workers who have partial incapacity, the workers' compensation will be based on a minimum rate for the year in which it occurred, and it must not go beyond the period of total or partial incapacity after the recurrence or relapse.

The injury or illness itself, and if it is deemed partial incapacity, will determine if the worker falls under this provision of the law. Another law might be applicable. There will be cost of living adjustments beginning in October after the recurrence or relapse.

Workers who have gotten workers' compensation benefits, tried to get back on the job and relapsed or became ill again have the right to get their benefits restarted. If there is confusion regarding the law for totally incapacitated or partially incapacitated workers and the law, or there is an issue with getting the benefits restarted, a legal professional who is experienced in all areas of workers' compensation can help.

Source: CGA.Ct.gov, "Sec. 31-307b. Benefits after relapse from recovery. Recurrent injuries," accessed on Dec. 10, 2017

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