How Do You Qualify for Permanent Disability Benefits Through Workers’ Comp?
While many employees are able to recover from their job-related injuries, some are not. According to a study reported by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), nearly 50 percent of all employees who miss at least six months from work are likely to suffer from permanent disabilities. For employees who miss at least a year, this number climbs to nearly 70 percent. If you have a permanent disability due to a job-related injury, how do you file for benefits? Columbus workers’ compensation attorney Kip Malek explains:
Permanent Partial vs. Permanent Total Disability Benefits
The first question you need to address is whether you qualify for permanent partial or permanent total disability benefits. Permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits are available to employees who are able to work in a limited capacity, while permanent total disability (PTD) benefits are available to those who are no longer able to earn income through employment.
Qualifying for Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) Benefits
Ohio law establishes three different types of permanent partial disability benefits. The type of PPD benefits you qualify to receive depends on the nature of your injury:
- “Scheduled Loss” PPD Benefits – Scheduled loss PPD benefits provide a set amount of compensation to employees with certain specific disabling conditions. These conditions include loss of use of a limb, loss of vision, total loss of hearing, ankylosis and amputation.
- “Percentage Loss” PPD Benefits – Percentage loss PPD benefits are available to permanently disabled employees who are able to work in a limited capacity and who do not have a condition that qualifies as a scheduled loss. The amount of percentage loss benefits you are eligible to receive depends on your income level and your percentage of impairment.
- Disfigurement PPD Benefits – Disfigurement PPD benefits are available to employees who have suffered disfiguring head or facial injuries that impact their ability to work. These benefits are capped at $10,000.
Qualifying for Permanent Total Disability (PTD) Benefits
Permanent total disability benefits are available to employees in Ohio under two specific sets of circumstances. To qualify for PTD benefits, you must either:
- Have suffered an injury or illness resulting in complete loss of use of your hands, feet, arms, legs, eyes or any combination of the above; or,
- Have suffered an injury or illness that makes you physically or psychologically incapable of working.
You must be able to prove that your condition prevents you from working; and, in most cases, you will need to undergo a thorough medical examination and attend a hearing before the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC). If the BWC determines that you qualify, your PTD benefits will generally be calculated as two-thirds of your current average weekly wage (AWW), unless your AWW is above or below certain thresholds.
Find Out if You Qualify from a Columbus Workers’ Compensation Attorney
To find out if you qualify for permanent disability benefits, request a free consultation with a Columbus workers’ compensation attorney at Malek & Malek Law Firm. Call 888-444-7440 or tell us how we can help online to schedule an appointment today.