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Delaware Worker's Compensation Benefits

Important Notice: The following overview of Delaware's worker's compensation (workmans comp) benefits is presented on an as-is basis. This information is believed accurate as of the date of authorship, but is not intended to provide a complete analysis of available benefits and may not reflect subsequent changes in the law. For a full review of Delaware's worker's compensation law, or for a determination of how the law applies to a specific worker, please consult a worker's compensation attorney licensed to practice in the state of Delaware.

Contents

Introduction

Delaware's system of worker's compensation (workman's comp) is compulsory, meaning that employers are required to provide worker's compensation insurance for their employees. Worker's compensation insurance may be provided through a private insurance carrier, or employers may self-insure. Waivers are not permitted.

Special Employment Situations

Delaware has an elective worker's compensation system for agricultural workers. Farm workers are not covered by the Act if they earn less than $750 in any three month period. Any household worker who earns $750 or more in any three month period from a single private home or household is covered by the state worker's compensation act.

Medical Benefits & Choice of Physician

Full medical benefits are provided to employees entitled to worker's compensation benefits, with no time or monetary limits. Initial choice of physician is made by the employee.

Disability Benefits Provided

Payments are made for temporary total disability (TTD) in an amount determined by a percentage of the worker's wage, subject to a weekly maximum payment amount. Payments continue for the duration of the disability.

Payments are made for permanent total disability (PTD) based upon a percentage of the worker's wage, subject to a weekly maximum payment amount. Payments for PTD continue for the duration of the disability.

Payments for permanent partial disability (PPD) are made based upon a percentage of the worker's wage, subject to a weekly maximum, for up to 300 weeks.

Benefits may be available for permanent and serious disfigurement of exposed parts of the human body.

Scheduled awards are paid in addition to total temporary disability benefits, concurrently with the TTD benefits. Scheduled awards are not reduced because of receipt of TTD benefits.

Physical and vocational rehabilitation benefits are available.

Within certain constraints and filing deadlines, occupational hearing losses may be compensable.

Death Benefits Provided

Death benefits are payable to an employee's surviving spouse, or spouse and children, based upon a percentage of the employee's wages, subject to a cap. A minimum benefit is provided regardless of the employee's earnings. A burial allowance is available.

Limits on Attorney Fees

Attorney fees for claimants are permitted in the amount of 30% of the award or ten times the state's average weekly wage, whichever is less. In certain cases, the attorney fee may be added to the award.