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Permanent partial disability compensation for loss of a body part

On Behalf of | Jun 22, 2021 | Workers' Compensation

Losing a body part is traumatic on many levels, from the pain and physical trauma to the emotional and psychological traumas. That is not even counting the problems a person may have adjusting to the different abilities and the activities, job duties and life skills that are not possible without the body part.

Arizona law recognizes that the loss of a body part requires greater workers’ compensation benefits.

The body part schedule

The base compensation for permanent partial disability for the loss of a body part is 55% of the employee’s average monthly wage. Then, the calculation includes a specified number of months’ worth based on a schedule of body parts, which includes:

  • The loss of a thumb: 15 months
  • The loss of the predominant hand: 50 months
  • The loss of the minor hand: 40 months
  • The loss of a leg: 50 months
  • The loss of a foot: 40 months
  • The loss (complete removal) of an eye: 30 months

In some cases, losing the use of a body part completely may result in the same level of compensation as the amputation of the body part.

Reduced earning capacity

If the injury causes a partial disability, then the employee’s earning capacity will determine the amount of compensation he or she receives. To calculate that, the employee can subtract current earning capacity (average monthly earnings) from the pre-injury earning capacity. The compensation will be 55% of the difference. The Industrial Commission waits to make these calculations until it determines that the employee’s physical condition is stable and not likely to improve.

The Industrial Commission notes that vocational rehabilitation is a component of workers’ compensation benefits. An employee may be able to train for a new career that can provide job satisfaction and restore some of the equilibrium to life after the loss.