Who is Eligible for Permanent Total Disability After a Work Injury?
Most injuries that occur in the workplace are temporary. Injuries like broken bones, torn or pulled muscles, and severe sprains may take you out of the workforce for some time, during which Workers’ Compensation can help in the short term. On the other hand, some workplace injuries are so severe that you may never be able to return to your job. These life-altering injuries can render some individuals not only unable to work, but unable to care for themselves and in need of long-term medical care. When this is the case, you could be eligible for permanent total disability (PTD) payments through Workers’ Compensation. Navigating the application process for these benefits can be extremely complicated. It may be in your best interest to work with an attorney if you believe you may qualify for these benefits.
How Do I Know if I Qualify for PTD?
There are a couple of different ways to establish that you qualify for PTD. For starters, the injury that left you disabled must be a workplace injury. If you became disabled for another reason, you would look into Social Security benefits or a personal injury lawsuit.
If the injury that led to your disability was workplace-related, then medical evidence of a permanent and serious disability may be enough to establish that you qualify. Your care team may need to testify that you will not be able to return to work.
You could also introduce evidence that you have unsuccessfully tried to secure another type of employment. If you can show that the limitations on the type of work you are able to perform have stopped you from finding alternate employment, this may establish that you qualify.
The third path to qualification lies in the “odd lot” theory. This method takes into consideration the entirety of your situation, including your education and job training, to show that you are not employable anymore. You may need professional assistance to establish that you qualify this way.
How is the Amount of PTD Calculated?
In most cases, PTD is calculated as two-thirds of your income before the disabling injury. However, those with low incomes before they became disabled may receive more due to statutory minimums, and those with high incomes may receive less due to the statutory maximum.
Call a Kane County Permanent Disability Attorney
If you may qualify for PTD, Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur P.C. can offer you professional legal assistance in applying for and proving your need for permanent total disability payments through Workers’ Compensation. Our skilled Aurora permanent disability lawyers are experienced and highly knowledgeable about this program. Call 630-907-0909 for a free consultation.