Serious injuries can have a long-lasting or permanent impact on a person’s life, and in some cases, they can affect a person’s ability to work. Fortunately, those who suffer these types of injuries while on the job have the right to receive workers’ compensation that will cover the costs of their immediate and ongoing medical care and provide disability benefits to address their loss of income. For those who have suffered injuries that will permanently affect their health and well-being and their ability to work, different types of permanent disability benefits are available. Permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits will cover situations where a person is able to return to work, but their injuries have limited the income they are able to earn or have permanently damaged parts of their body.
Types of Permanent Partial Disability Benefits
A worker may suffer a permanent partial disability (PPD) if they completely lost a part of their body through amputation, completely or partially lost the use of one or more parts of their body, or lost partial use of their entire body. Being unable to perform activities or work-related tasks that a person could do previously is considered a loss of use. PPD benefits will usually be calculated using the person’s average weekly wage (AWW) that they earned during the 52 weeks before their injury.
Before a person can receive PPD benefits, they must reach a condition of “maximum medical improvement” (MMI) in which any further treatment would not impact their ability to work. At this point, they may be eligible for one of the following types of benefits:
- Scheduled injuries - A specific amount may be paid out for the complete loss of a body part or the permanent loss of use of a body part. This amount is determined using a schedule of injuries, which specifies the number of weeks of pay that each body part is “worth.” The number of weeks will be multiplied by the percentage of loss the employee has experienced in that body part to determine the total number of weeks of pay. The worker will receive 60% of their AWW for that number of weeks. For example, an index finger is worth 43 weeks, so if a person experienced an injury that resulted in a permanent loss of 50% of the use of that finger, their injury would be worth 21.5 weeks of pay. Their total benefit would be calculated by multiplying 60% of their AWW by 21.5.
- Non-scheduled injuries - If the part or parts of the body that were injured are not included in the schedule of injuries, a worker may receive benefits for the percentage of loss they experienced in their “person as a whole.” In these cases, 500 weeks of pay will be multiplied by the percentage of loss of the person as a whole. For example, if a person suffered a 5% loss of the person as a whole, their injury would be worth 25 weeks. Their total benefit would be calculated by multiplying 60% of their AWW by 25.
- Wage differential - For injured workers who are able to return to work at a new position in which they earn less than they made before their injury, benefits will cover two thirds or 66.7% of the difference between what they currently earn and what they would have been able to earn in their previous position. These benefits will be paid for five years or until the employee reaches the age of 67, whichever occurs later.
- Disfigurement - Injuries that result in permanent disfiguring scars to the face, head, neck, upper chest, arms, hands, or lower legs are worth a maximum of 162 weeks of pay. The appropriate number of weeks will be multiplied by 60% of the person’s AWW.
Contact Our Kane County Workers’ Comp Disability Attorneys
Recovering from a permanent disability can be difficult, and workers’ compensation benefits can be essential for helping a person and their family get back on their feet. At Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur P.C., we can help you file a workers’ comp claim, and we will fight to make sure you receive the maximum benefits you deserve. Contact our Aurora workers’ compensation lawyers today at 630-907-0909 to arrange your free consultation.