If the claimant incurs permanent scarring to his body either from their actual physical injury or from surgery required by their physical injury,they may be entitled to disfigurement benefits.  Disfigurement benefits, which can also include the results of amputations or other physical changes to the form of the claimant’s body, can be paid up to $4840.14  for any “limited” disfigurement, and up to $9,678.66 for extensive facial or body scars  or stumps resulting from the loss of limbs.  This amount is in addition to any permanent partial disability they might be entitled to receive.  The scar or disfigurement must pass what is called the “bathing suit” rule.  In other words, if it is a scar or disfigurement that would be seen if the claimant was in a bathing suit, then they can get payment for it.  If the insurance company does not offer a disfigurement amount, a claimant can submit photographs of the disfigurement to the Division of Workers’ Compensation, which will in turn ask an administrative law judge to assign an amount.  Alternatively, the claimant can request a disfigurement hearing.  When the hearing is set, the claimant will appear in front of a judge who will assess the scar or other disfigurement and make a determination as to what disfigurement award should be made.  There will be a female judge available for injured female workers who feel uncomfortable showing their scars to a male judge.  The amount of the disfigurement award is discretionary,  difficult to predict, and is rarely overturned on appeal.  (Section 8-42-108, C.R.S.).

Cairns & Associates, P.C.

3900 E. Mexico Avenue
Suite 300
Denver, CO 80210

Phone (303) 481-6345
Fax (866) 277-0355

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