Permanent Partial Disability Compensation – Our Lawyers Answer Your Questions
How Do I Get Permanent Partial Disability Compensation ( PPD AWARD )
Simple you submit an application for a permanent partial disability award via the Ohio BWC. The BWC makes it super easy to apply for this award on their website. This will trigger the BWC reaching out to you to schedule a C92 examination by a BWC doctor. You’re allowed physical or mental conditions will be evaluated, and that doctor will assign you a percentage partial impairment. The BWC will then issue an order indicating that you be paid that Percentage Permanent Partial Impairment award. If you disagree with that order you appeal, and then the issue of the percentage goes before a hearing officer.
Your workers comp lawyer may then decide to have you examined by a different doctor. That doctor may assign you a high percentage. At the hearing your workers comp attorney will argue for the higher of the two percentages. The employer’s rep or the BWC will argue for the lower. The hearing officer will then come to a compromise.
Can I Get Pain and Suffering for my Ohio Workers Comp Claim?
This is a common question I receive as a workers comp lawyer from folks who have suffered a workplace injury. The short answer is no. However you may be entitled to a form of compensation called a permanent partial disability award otherwise known as a C92 award. An Ohio workers comp lawyer can help you maximize your C92 award.
The easiest way to understand a PPD award is consider that prior to your work injury you were theoretically perfect. If you were a character in a video game you would have 100% of your health. After your work injury you are now at 90% health.
Do you get anything for the fact that you now have a 10% permanent impairment? Yes, and that is called a C92 award.
Common Injuries that Can Qualify as Permanent Partial Disabilities
Many types of injuries can qualify as permanent partial disabilities. When determining whether you have a PPD claim, the question isn’t so much the nature of your injury, but rather the extent to which your injury impairs your ability to earn a living. If your injury prevents you from earning as much as you used to earn before you got injured—and if you otherwise qualify to file a workers’ compensation claim with the Ohio BWC—then a lawyer may be able to help you secure PPD benefits.
With this in mind, some examples of common injuries that can qualify as permanent partial disabilities in Ohio include:
- Back Injuries – Back injuries are among the most common of all types of partial disabilities. Not only is it easy to injure your back on the job, but back injuries can also easily cause long-term or permanent physical limitations. Whether your back injury limits your strength or range of motion or you are simply in too much pain to perform your job duties, you may qualify for PPD benefits if you suffered your back injury in the course of your employment.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common injury among office workers, assembly line workers, warehouse workers, and individuals who work with tools on a regular basis. While carpal tunnel syndrome may seem like a fairly minor injury to most people, if you need to be able to use your wrists and hands to do your job, a carpal tunnel syndrome diagnosis can be life-changing.
- Hearing Loss – Hearing loss can result from prolonged exposure to excessive noise as well as exposure to loud sounds such as crashes and explosions. Losing your ability to hear can drastically impact all aspects of your life, including your ability to do your job. If you are suffering from job-related hearing loss, you should speak with a lawyer about filing for partial permanent disability benefits with the Ohio BWC.
- Joint Injuries – Elbow, shoulder, knee, wrist and ankle injuries are all extremely common. While many joint injuries can be treated with prompt and professional medical care, some will have long-term or permanent effects. When a joint injury impairs an individual’s ability to do his or her job, that individual will often qualify for PPD benefits (including a C92 award) under Ohio law.
- Loss of Body Parts – Losing a body part due to trauma or amputation is devastating for most people. Even for those who are able to recover emotionally, living without their full physical capabilities serves as a daily reminder of how one event changed their life forever. If you have lost all or part of a limb or digit due to a work-related accident, you will want to talk to a lawyer about filing for permanent partial disability benefits.
- Post–Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – Loss of limbs, falls, electrocutions, explosions, collisions and other work-related accidents leave many employees suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Living with PTSD can be extremely difficult, and suffering from this psychological disorder can limit a person’s ability to do his or her job effectively. Even though PTSD is not an injury that causes physical limitations, it can still qualify workers in Ohio for PPD benefits.
- Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI) – Along with carpal tunnel syndrome, various other types of repetitive stress injuries (RSI) can also qualify workers for PPD benefits. This includes injuries such as bursitis, tendonitis, tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, De Quervain’s tenosynovitis, and ulnar tunnel syndrome.
- Respiratory Diseases – Respiratory diseases caused by exposure to harmful fumes, substances and particulates can leave employees in all types of occupations permanently disabled. If you have been diagnosed with a respiratory disease that impairs your ability to work, your disease may make you eligible to receive permanent partial disability benefits through workers’ compensation in Ohio.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) – While most individuals will recover from concussions with adequate rest and gradual reintroduction of routine activities, other types of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) have a high risk for permanent effects. Workers can suffer permanent brain injuries in all types of accidents, and in most cases, those who are eligible for workers’ compensation will be able to secure PPD benefits with the help of an experienced lawyer.
- Vision Loss – Vision loss is another type of permanent injury that can result from a wide range of on-the-job accidents. Direct trauma to the eye and other traumatic injuries causing vision loss can be caused by collisions, falls, flying debris and numerous other job-related hazards. Similar to the other types of injuries discussed above, most employees who suffer permanent disabilities due to vision loss will qualify for permanent partial disability benefits under Ohio’s workers’ compensation law.
Why is PPD Compensation Considered an Award for Pain and Suffering?
In workers comp you don’t receive traditional personal injury monetary damage awards. Along those same lines pain and suffering is not a factor when determining whether or not you are entitled to temporary total disability compensation or say permanent total disability compensation. But when the hearing officer is listening to the arguments of the attorneys for the higher or lower percentage, the serious of your workers comp injury comes to play. If you have been off work for a substantial amount of time and if you have had significant medical treatment in the form of surgery, the hearing officer is more likely to find that you have a higher permanent partial impairment.
When Can I File for a Permanent Partial Disability Award ( C92 )?
You or your Columbus, Ohio workers comp lawyer may file an application for a Permanent Partial Disability Award 26 weeks after the date of your work injury or 26 wees after the last date you received temporary total disability compensation, whichever is later.
How is My Permanent Partial Disability Compensation (C92) Calculated?
Its a bit less straightforward than it should be. But at the base level for every percentage you are awarded you are paid two weeks of temporary total disability. So if you are found to have a 10% permanent partial impairment you are paid 20 weeks of temporary total disability compensation.
The trick is, its paid differently than temporary total disability is paid. That is where the confusion comes in. To that end Ohio workers comp lawyer Kip Malek has made a very helpful step-by-step tutorial on how to actually calculate a Ohio permanent partial disability compensation award, otherwise known as a C92 award:
Payment of Permanent Partial Disability Benefits
If you’ve suffered a permanent disability but are able to return to work, you may still be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Assuming that you will be earning less than you did prior to your disability, you could qualify for one of the following permanent partial disability benefits:
- Scheduled losses. Scheduled losses are those that have a set amount of benefits for loss of a specific body part.
- Percentage losses. If you do not qualify for a scheduled loss, you may qualify for benefits determined by the percentage that you are disabled. You receive two weeks of compensation for every percentage you are assessed. This is paid in a lump sum. This is not a settlement of your workers comp claim. For example, if your doctor determines that you are 50% disabled, you will receive benefits equal to your temporary partial disability for an additional 100 weeks.
- Disfigurement. If you have suffered a serious disfigurement to your head or face that impacts your ability to work, you could qualify for compensation up to a maximum of $10,000.
Determining what benefits you may qualify for isn’t easy and can have a significant impact on your future. A Columbus permanent partial disability attorney can help you understand your options.
If you have further questions about permanent partial disability compensation contact a Columbus workers comp lawyer at Malek & Malek for a free consultation.