Disfigurement for a Limp

Section 8-42-108(1) permits an Administrative Law Judge to award disfigurement benefits up to a maximum of $4,000 if the claimant is "seriously, permanently disfigured about the head, face or parts of the body normally exposed to public view. . . ." It is settled law that a "limp" is a disfigurement to a part of the body normally exposed to public view as contemplated by the statute. However, claimants often do not request, and Administrative Law Judges often do not consider, whether disfigurement benefits should be awarded by a limp.

In Marcelli v. Echostar Dish Network, W.C. No. 4-776-535 (August 30, 2012), the Industrial Claim Appeals Office remanded a disfigurement award back to the Administrative Law Judge because the disfigurement award did not indicate whether the Administrative Law Judge awarded benefits for claimant’s limp. While this case does not present new law in Colorado, it does provide a reminder that disfigurement benefits may be awarded for a limp. Now that the maximum award for disfigurement benefits for a limp has been raised to $4,000, employers may want to consider whether it is advisable to submit surveillance films or other evidence at the disfigurement hearing to undermine a claimant’s request for disfigurement benefits.

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