Work-related injuries can be as varied as the tasks workers do, and not all injuries heal in a timely manner. Your employer is required, in most cases, to provide you with workers' compensation insurance at no cost. When you get injured at work or through a work-related accident or illness, you can expect to be able to visit the doctor and get treatment for those injuries at no charge. You may also be allowed to stay home and earn a certain amount of your former salary for some length of time. Read on to learn more about partial permanent disabilities and what you can expect.
The Levels of Workers' Comp Benefits
To understand how this form of insurance works, it might be helpful to review the three main levels of compensation.
1. Temporary benefits: In most cases, workers heal from injuries and can return to work in a few days or weeks. There is no specific time limit for temporary benefits, but the workers' comp carrier determines how much time you need to get better based on your injury.
2. Permanent disability benefits: Once a given amount of time passes, you may be asked to undergo a special type of medical exam from the workers' comp doctors. This exam will determine whether or not you have a permanent disability. This is known in workers' comp language as maximum medical improvement (MMI).
3. Permanent partial disability: The level of disability is always assigned a percentage number. Full disability would be 100% and there can be levels of disability up to that percentage amount.
Permanent Partial Disability Benefits
When you have reached MMI, whether you are fully disabled or permanently disabled, your benefits will undergo a change. Instead of continuing to receive a portion of your pay each week, you will be offered a settlement. Depending on the details of your settlement, you may be offered a single lump sum amount of money or the settlement may be structured to provide you with regular payments, such as weekly or monthly.
In addition to money and medical care, you may also qualify for rehabilitative care. Depending on your level of partial disability, you may be able to be trained to do a different type of work. For example, if you can no longer drive a forklift due to your accident, you may be trained to work at a computer or a seated assembly job.
Once you have been ruled at MMI, speak to a workers' comp attorney like those at Gilbert, Blaszcyk & Milburn LLP immediately for help with negotiating to get the best possible compensation package and to have it structured so that you can maximize your Social Security benefits along with workers' comp.