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How is Workers’ Compensation Calculated in Kentucky?

January 31, 2022

Most employees who sustain an on-the-job injury in Kentucky are able to recover workers’ compensation to help with their expenses. Specifically, individuals can usually recover compensation for their medical bills as well as a significant portion of their lost income. However, it is important to properly calculate how much compensation an individual will receive in the event they do sustain an injury at work.

Calculating Medical Bill Coverage

After an individual sustains an injury while performing job-related duties, they are entitled to complete coverage of all medical bills related to the injury. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Emergency medical expenses
  • All follow-up doctor or hospital visits
  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation
  • Prescription medications
  • Medical devices
  • Any needed in-home care
  • The cost of transportation to and from medical visits

There is no cap, or limitation, on how much money an individual can receive for medical expenses after a work-related injury. However, workers’ compensation will cease to pay for medical bills after a doctor says that an individual has reached maximum medical recovery (MMI), which is the point when any additional medical treatment will not likely improve a person’s outcome. 

How Are Lost Wages Calculated?

If an individual cannot return to their job or the same type of work while they are recovering, they may be eligible to receive temporary total disability (TTD) income to make up for their lost earnings period.

Temporary total disability benefits are calculated as two-thirds of the worker’s average weekly wage that they were receiving when they were injured or became ill. There is a current maximum weekly benefit of $979 and a minimum of $178, though these figures change annually in Kentucky.

TTD benefits in Kentucky do not pay for the first seven days off of work a person incurs unless their total disability lasts for more than two weeks. These payments will continue until an individual reaches maximum medical recovery.

What About Disability Benefits?

When a person reaches maximum medical recovery, a doctor will conduct an evaluation to determine whether or not they have sustained a permanent disability due to the job-related injury or illness. If they have sustained a disability, an individual could receive income benefits for either total or partial permanent disability. 

In the event the injury or occupational illness prevents a worker from performing in any type of employment, they will be entitled to receive permanent total disability benefits at the same rate as their temporary total disability benefits, and the benefits will continue as long as the individual is disabled or until they turn 70 years of age.

Partial disability benefits will be calculated based on a disability rating. This is known as the permanent impairment rating, which is the percentage that represents the extent to which a person has lost overall bodily function. The temporary impairment rating will go into a formula to determine how much they should receive for permanent partial disability income benefits.

Properly calculating these benefits is complicated, and we strongly suggest that you work with a skilled work injury lawyer in Kentucky who can help you with every aspect of your claim.