Puerto Rico Worker's Compensation Benefits
By Aaron Larson
Important Notice: The following overview of Puerto Rico'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 Puerto Rico'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 Puerto Rico.
- Special Employment Situations
- Medical Benefits & Choice of Physician
- Disability Benefits Provided
- Death Benefits Provided
- Limits on Attorney Fees
Puerto Rico'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 is provided through a state fund. Waivers are not permitted.
Farm workers and sharecroppers are covered by worker's compensation. Any domestic worker regularly employed by the same employer is covered by Puerto Rico's worker's compensation act.
Full medical benefits are provided to employees entitled to worker's compensation benefits, with no time or monetary limits. The worker's compensation agency selects the physician who will provide care.
Payments are made for temporary total disability (TTD) in an amount determined by a percentage of the worker's wage, subject to weekly maximum and minimum payment amounts. Payments may continue for up to 312 weeks.
Payments are made for permanent total disability (PTD) based upon a percentage of the worker's wage, subject to weekly minimum and maximum payment amounts. Payments for PTD continue for the duration of the disability, up to a cap on total benefits payable.
Payments for permanent partial disability (PPD) are made based upon a percentage of the worker's wage, subject to weekly minimum and maximum payment amounts. Payments for PPD continue in proportion to scheduled injuries.
Scheduled awards are paid in addition to total temporary disability benefits starting upon termination of the termination of the TTD benefits. Scheduled awards are not reduced because of receipt of TTD benefits.
Benefits may be available for disfigurement resulting from serious scars, burns, or changes in the physiognomy of the face, head or neck. Disfigurement of the hands and arms may be compensable if not considered in determining any other compensation.
Physical rehabilitation benefits are covered under medical services. Vocational rehabilitation benefits are available.
With certain constraints and filing deadlines, occupational hearing losses may be compensable.
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.
Attorney fees for claimants are approved by the agency on a case-by-case basis. In certain cases, the attorney fee may be added to the award.
Copyright © 2003-2011 Aaron Larson. All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be reproduced without the express written permission of the copyright holder. If you believe you may lawfully use a quotation, excerpt or paraphrase of this article under the Fair Use exception to copyright law, except as otherwise authorized by the author of the article, you must cite this article as a source for your work and include a link back to the original article from any online materials that incorporate or are derived from the content of this article.