Workers' compensation benefits include a specific provision for injured workers who have sustained the amputation or loss of use of body part due to a specific work-related injury. This type of benefit is referred to as a scheduled loss award or loss of use award. Scheduled loss award are based upon the specific part of the body that sustained the loss. These benefits are directly controlled by a specific statute that specifies how many weeks of compensation each loss is worth. For example, an injured worker who loses a thumb in an amputation accident is entitled to 60 weeks of compensation.
Scheduled loss awards obviously apply to direct amputation-type injuries where the injured worker has sustained the severance of a specific body part. However, such awards can also be sought where the specific body part is rendered useless by the injury even though it is not specifically severed from the body. In these situations, the hearing officer will need to consider whether the limb or body part has been lost for all practical purposes.
In addition to limbs and body parts, scheduled loss awards can also be awarded for loss of vision and loss of hearing.