Lupita Ramirez dresses her husband, Joel, at their home in Rialto, Calif. Joel was paralyzed from the waist down after being crushed by a pallet when he was working in a warehouse. Patrick T. Fallon for ProPublica hide caption

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Injured Workers Suffer As 'Reforms' Limit Workers' Compensation Benefits

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Joel Ramirez climbs back into his wheelchair with the help of Francisco Guardado, a home health aide, at his home in Rialto, Calif. Ramirez was paralyzed from the waist down in 2009 when a 900-pound crate fell on him at a warehouse. Changes to California workers' compensation laws have impacted his quality of care. Patrick T. Fallon for ProPublica hide caption

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'Grand Bargain' In Workers' Comp Unravels, Harming Injured Workers Further

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Jeremy Lewis lost his left arm during a work-related incident while working at a poultry plant in Alabama. The state has the nation's lowest workers' compensation benefits for amputations and sent Lewis into just the kind of downward spiral workers' comp was intended to prevent. Dustin Chambers for ProPublica hide caption

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As Workers' Comp Varies From State To State, Workers Pay The Price

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Dennis Whedbee, of Homer City, Pa., lost half of his left arm in a drilling accident in North Dakota in September 2012. Jeff Swensen for ProPublica hide caption

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'I Lost A Hand And This Is Workman's Comp. ... I Didn't Lose A Hook!'

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Frances Stevens uses a custom ramp leading to her van. An accident at work in 1997 left her unable to walk. She received full workers' compensation benefits until two years ago, when the insurer withdrew her medications and home health aide. Her lawsuit is a test of California's use of anonymous, independent medical reviewers. Glenna Gordon for ProPublica hide caption

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Employers And Insurers Gain Control In Workers' Compensation Disputes

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John Coffell sits at his grandmother's table in Hulen, Okla. An injury at a tire plant last year left him unable to work. Brett Deering for ProPublica/AP hide caption

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When Businesses Opt Out Of Workers' Comp, Employees May Struggle For Care

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After 21 years as a building engineer for Macy's department stores, Kevin Schiller was left unable to work as the result of a 2010 workplace accident. Brandon Thibodeaux for NPR hide caption

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Federal Workplace Law Fails To Protect Employees Left Out Of Workers' Comp

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Rachel Jenkins outside her home in Boley, Okla. Jenkins settled her case with ResCare, who denied her medical benefits and lost pay after she injured her shoulder at work. Nick Oxford hide caption

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Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, pictured in 2015, says, "If you get hurt on [the] job, you still should be able to put food on the table, and these laws are really undermining that basic bargain." Molly Riley/AP hide caption

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Bill Minick, the president of PartnerSource, a Texas company that writes and administers opt-out plans, vowed that despite the Oklahoma Supreme Court decision, he would continue efforts to promote alternative plans in other states. Dylan Hollingsworth for ProPublica hide caption

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