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Disfigurement Benefits – How Are They Calculated?


Term of the Day – Disfigurement Benefits

Most disfigurement benefits are for those who have suffered a work-related injury to the head or neck, resulting in a permanent loss of specific bodily functions, scarring and/or disfigurement. The scars must be located on the face or neck. This can result from either a cut or burn, or be from a surgical scar from a work-related injury.

Woman With Disfigurement Benefits Face Acid Attack Victim
Wikipedia – Sand Paper

The benefits for disfigurement can only be claimed for the neck or head. A person may have significant scarring to other parts of their body, but it is not compensable under Workers Comp. Even if a worker is not disabled from the injury, they may still be able to collect benefits.

Benefits are given in a one-time payment and in addition to other payments, like medical bills and lost wages. The payment will depend on the severity and location of the disfigurement, and the state the injury took place in.

For example, this is North Carolina’s benefit outline: Disfigurement and Damage to Other Organs: If the injury leaves facial or head scars that seriously disfigure the person, or causes the loss or permanent injury to an important organ of the body, the employee may be awarded additional compensation not to exceed $20,000.00. The maximum payable for serious bodily disfigurement is $10,000.00. No compensation is allowed for scars where the employee is paid for loss or partial loss of use of the same member. The employee is also entitled to payment for disfigurement due to the loss or crowning of permanent teeth.

Man Holding Disfigurement Benefits Calculator With Scientific Icons

To claim disfigurement benefits, the injured person must be able to prove that the injury causing the scar was work-related. They must also give proper notice of the injury within the requirement of the Workers Compensation Act. It must also be proven that the scarring or disfigurement is permanent; usually someone with scarring or disfigurement after six months is eligible.

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James J Moore - Workers Comp Expert

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Management Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites
  • Various trade publications


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