If you have worked at a job for some time, you may have sustained some run-of-the-mill injuries. Perhaps you got a deep cut or a black eye due to something that happened in the workplace or with machinery. It’s safe to say that you probably recovered easily from those injuries. However, some workers will continue to have problems with injuries they sustained on the job. If your physician says that you will never recover from your injuries, then you may have a permanent disability and could be eligible for permanent disability (PD) benefits.
If you are eligible for benefits, then you have probably reached what is known as maximum medical improvement (MMI), which means that your recovery has ended and that further medical treatment will likely not help your condition. This means the end of temporary disability payments and onto bigger things. When you have reached MMI, your condition is known as permanent and stationary (P&S) and a report will be written about your condition. This report includes information on specific medical problems, limitations on work you can do, medical care that you may need in the future, whether or not you are able to return to your old job, and an estimate of how much your disability is caused by your job. This report will be sent to your claims administrator.
It is vital to remember that your P&S report will affect your future benefits and you have a right to receive a copy of it! But what happens if you don’t agree with the report? You have a right to challenge the report if you have heard different things from another treating physician. You do not have to stay silent about it.
What Are “Ratings”?
These are percentages given to estimate how much your disability limits the kind of work you are able to do to earn a living and makes a determination of your PD benefits. There are several factors that ratings are based on:
- Your actual medical condition according to the P&S report
- The date of your injury
- Your age when injured
- Your occupation at the time of the injury
- How much of the disability is caused by your job and how much is caused by other factors (apportionment)
- Multiplication by something known as an “adjustment factor”
From here, your PD payments will be determined. Your claims administrator will determine how much to pay you based on many different factors. These include the ratings of your disability, the date of your injury, your wages before you were injured, and whether or not your employer offers you work meeting special requirements.
When Should I Expect to Receive Payments?
If you have a permanent partial disability, you will be eligible to receive your benefits over a fixed number of weeks. However, if you have a permanent total disability, then you will be able to receive your payments the rest of your life. If you decide to settle on your case, you and the claims administrator will agree on when and how long you will continue to receive PD payments and how much each payment will be. However, you are not required to accept these offers and can instead negotiate a settlement or do before a judge to get what you deserve!
If you believe you have a case, it is always a good idea to have an attorney you can trust on your side. You can contact WTW today for a consultation for your case. We will work with you to help you receive the compensation you deserve.
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