Workers’ compensation is a type of no-fault insurance that helps people who have been injured at work cover medical care, lost wages, and other costs. In Missouri, workers’ compensation insurance is mandatory for any business with five or more employees, and for all contractors with at least one employee.

Both the requirements for workers’ compensation and the factors that determine how much you receive depend on the state in which you live. To help you make suitable financial plans for your recovery, here’s how to calculate workers’ comp rates in Missouri.

Calculating workers’ compensation rates for lost wages in Missouri

Workers’ comp doesn’t cover your whole salary. Rather, the lost wages benefits you receive under workers’ compensation in Missouri equal two-thirds of your average weekly wage, up to a maximum of 55% of the state average weekly wage.

This figure is based on your gross income (the amount you earn before tax) during the 13 weeks leading up to your injury. If you’ve been employed for less than 13 weeks before your accident, your average weekly wage is based on your total employment.

As of July 1, 2022, the Missouri state average weekly wage is considered to be $1,104.92. Therefore, the maximum amount you could receive in lost wages compensation each week is $607.71 (55% of the state average weekly wage). These amounts, and those mentioned hereafter, are in effect until June 30, 2023.

If you earn an average of $600 a week in the 13 weeks before your injury, you’re entitled to $400 a week in lost wages benefits. But even if you earn a six-figure salary, you won’t be able to claim more than $607.71 a week.

Maximum workers’ compensation rates for disability in Missouri

Workers’ compensation covers three main types of disability:

Type of disabilityDefinitionMaximum weekly benefit rates
Temporary Total Disability (TTD)You’re not fit to return to work, but are expected to make a full recovery$1,160.17
Permanent Total Disability (PTD)You’re incapable of ever returning to work$1,160.17
Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)You’re still able to work, but not with the same skill or efficiency as before your injury$607.71

The maximum weekly benefit rates for each disability type are calculated based on the Missouri state average weekly wage. TTD and PTD equal 105% of this figure, whereas PPD equals 55% of this figure.

Temporary Total Disability

This type of disability benefit applies if you can’t work for more than three consecutive days. In this case, you’re entitled to receive compensation until you return to work or reach maximum medical improvement.

Initially, you won’t receive payment for the first three days after your injury. But if you’re unable to return to work for at least 14 days, these three days will be paid.

Permanent Total Disability

You’ll be considered to have PTD in one of two situations:

  • If your injuries make you unemployable in the labor market
  • If a combination of your injuries and pre-existing conditions make you unemployable

Permanent Partial Disability

In Missouri, the following formula is used for calculating workers’ compensation rates for PPD:

(Rate of compensation) x (Level) x (Disability percentage) = (Total amount award in USD)

Rate of compensation refers to the amount of workers’ compensation available to you based on your average weekly wage.

Level refers to which area of your body has been affected by the injury. The Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation has given each body part a numerical value representing the number of weeks for which you can claim. These range from eight for the end joints of all toes except the grand toe, up to 400 for the body as a whole. If you lose part of your body by severance or loss of use, the number of weeks assigned to that body part increases by 10%.

The disability percentage is usually determined by the medical expert who treats your injuries.

So if you qualify for the full $607.71 in lost wages benefits, and have sustained a disability percentage of 40% to your shoulder (222 weeks), you’re entitled to: 

(Rate of compensation) x (Level) x (Disability percentage) = (Total amount award in USD)

$607.71 x 222 weeks x 40% = $53,964.65

Workers’ compensation payments for medical treatments in Missouri

Workers’ compensation also lets you claim for the cost of medical treatments, durable medical equipment, and ongoing care. This includes:

  • Diagnostic studies
  • Doctor’s appointments
  • Emergency room care
  • Equipment such as a cane, crutch, or wheelchair
  • Hospital stays
  • Medication
  • Rehabilitation
  • Surgeries

Missouri State Law allows your employer to choose which medical providers will treat your injuries. If you decide to visit an unauthorized doctor, you may have to pay your own medical costs.

You can also claim for travel expenses to and from your appointments. Currently, you’re entitled to 59.5 cents per mile, so remember to keep a record of your travel costs.

Maximum workers’ compensation rates for death benefits in Missouri

If you suffer a fatal workplace injury, your survivors (usually your surviving spouse and dependent children) are entitled to receive death benefits. All survivors receive a share of the available death benefits, which depend on the circumstances of your death:

When you die as the result of a work-related injury: Your survivors are entitled to weekly benefits equal to two-thirds of your average weekly wage for the year following the accident.

When you’re still employable after your work-related injury, but suffer a compensable Permanent Partial Disability and then die from a cause unrelated to your work injury: Your survivors are entitled to the same PPD benefits that you were entitled to, which in most cases is paid as a lump sum.

When you suffer Permanent Total Disability from your work-related injury and then die from an unrelated cause: Your survivors are entitled to the same PTD benefits to which you were entitled.

Dependent children can claim death benefits until they reach the age of 18. However, they can continue to receive benefits after this age if they become a full-time student, have served on active duty in the military, or are incapacitated from wage earning.

A surviving spouse can claim for their entire lifetime or until they remarry. Upon remarriage, they receive a lump sum equal to two years of death benefits.

Your employer or their insurer is also responsible for paying funeral expenses up to $5,000.

Maximize your workers’ compensation with Phalen Law

Although workers’ compensation insurers provide a highly valuable service, they are first and foremost a business. Their main goal is to reduce costs, so it’s not uncommon for insurance companies to try to pay as little as possible. Even if you know how to calculate workers’ comp, it’s a good idea to speak with a workers’ compensation lawyer to make sure you receive every cent you’re owed.

At Phalen Law, our workers’ comp attorneys have over 50 years of experience in supporting successful workers’ compensation claims across Missouri and Kansas. We offer a highly personalized service tailored to your particular needs and circumstances and give you total confidence with our proven track record.

Contact our friendly expert team today or fill out our Free Case Evaluation form to arrange a no-obligation consultation to discuss your workers’ compensation claim.