If you work in Shelton and you are injured in a workplace accident, you are covered by Connecticut’s workers’ compensation law. This law includes administrative procedures, benefits that you may be eligible to receive, and rules for your return to work.
Connecticut’s Workers’ Compensation Act
Connecticut’s Workers’ Compensation Act addresses the claims of workers that were injured on the job. The purpose of this law is to ensure that employees receive wage replacement benefits and necessary medical treatment to compensate them for their workplace injuries. Every employee, regardless of whether they are part-time or full-time, is fully covered by benefits provided by the Workers’ Compensation Act from their very first day of employment.
If you have been injured in a Shelton workplace accident, you may be eligible to receive the following workers’ compensation benefits:
(a) Medical Treatment: You have the right to receive all necessary medical care and treatment for your injuries. All bills and prescription medicines for your necessary medical care should be paid by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance provider. You do not have to pay these bills.
(b) Temporary Total Disability: When you miss time from work because your injury or illness prevents you from working, you could receive these wage replacement benefits. If your treating doctor confirms that your injury will cause you to miss time from work, you can get wage replacement benefits at a rate of 75% of your after-tax-and-social-security average weekly wage, based upon the wages that you earned prior to the injury (up to 52 weeks).
(c) Temporary Partial Disability: When you can perform some work, but not the same kind of work, or the same number of hours that you worked before your injury, you can receive this benefit. This benefit rate is 75% of the after-tax-and-social-security difference between the amount you are currently earning and the amount that you would have earned if no injury occurred.
(d) Permanent Partial Disability: This benefit is paid to the injured worker who has sustained a partial loss that is permanent of the use of a body part as the result of their workplace injury. The exact amount of the benefit that will be received is based upon the body part that was injured, the doctor’s determination of the percentage of that body part that has been disabled, and the employee’s basic workers’ compensation rate.
(e) Job Retraining: If you can’t do your job because of the extent of your injuries, you can receive free vocational rehabilitation and training from the Workers’ Compensation Commission’s Rehabilitation Services.
Often, employers and employees dispute how to proceed in a workers’ compensation case. Our law provides for an administrative process to resolve these disputes. Ultimately, your case will be decided by an Administrative Law Judge. There is no jury for workers’ compensation cases. The Administrative Law Judge serves as an impartial mediator and factfinder for workers’ compensation hearings. By law, Administrative Law Judges are nominated by the Governor. Then, they are confirmed by the General Assembly.
The first level of administrative hearing is an Informal Hearing. This is a conference held at a District Office. It is completed before an Administrative Law Judge. The purpose of this informal hearing is for the parties to negotiate with the hope of resolving the workers’ compensation case. The Administrative Law Judge can make a recommendation to the parties. These conferences are short, typically lasting about 15 minutes. If the parties cannot reach an agreement, the issue can move forward to a Formal Hearing.
Formal Hearings are like court trials. Witnesses can testify under oath, a stenographic record of the hearing is recorded, and exhibits are submitted into evidence. Before the Formal Hearing, the Administrative Law Judge will hold a Pre-Formal Hearing to attempt to resolve issues and disputes ahead of the Formal Hearing. After the Formal Hearing, the Administrative Law Judge will make a decision. They will make a “Finding and Award,” or a “Finding and Dismissal.” This is outlined in a written decision where they decide facts and render conclusions. The written decision is binding. This is the case unless either party makes an appeal with the Compensation Review Board (CRB).
A small number of cases are appealed to the CRB. The CRB is made up of the Workers’ Compensation Commission Chairman and a panel of two Administrative Law Judges. The CRB does not re-try cases on appeal. It determines if the Administrative Law Judge made a proper decision according to the law. The CRB is unlikely to overturn a decision, but if new evidence is presented, they might.
If you face a workplace accident and are injured in Shelton, you have rights under Connecticut’s Workers’ Compensation Act. Our lawyers can help you with this process to ensure that you receive all benefits that you are entitled to receive. You do not have to represent yourself. We are here to help.