If you are severely injured while on the job and are either disabled or lose the ability to peform some or all of your job's functions, permanent disability payments replace the income you would have received without the injury. In situations where you are not completely disabled, but have your ability to perform your job's functions reduced, you may also be eligible to work in a reduced capacity and receive partial benefits that compensate for any lost wages due to your new reduced working capacity.
Before you can be awarded permanent disability benefits, you may be given temporary disability benefits, depending on your employer, and your employer will send you to a doctor, who will provide their professional opinion on how much work ability you have lost. This is reported as a percentage, for example someone who has lost the ability to do half of their job duties will be considered 50% disabled. While anyone within the 0% to 99% range is eligible to be awarded permanent partial disability, those who have lost the ability to perform all functions of their job, or become 100% disabled, will be given permanent total disability benefits which can last the rest of your life.
If you are awarded permanent disability benefits, you will receive them 14 days after your temporary disability benefits end. If you were not awarded temporary disability benefits, you can begin receiving permanent disability benefits 14 days after the claims administrator hears about your permanent disability.
It is not uncommon to feel as though you received an unjust disability evaulation from your doctor's visit. Often times your employer's disability insurance requires that you see a doctor of their choosing, rather than a neutral party or a doctor who is already well aware of your pre-injury health conditions. When this is the case, you could receive an unfair evaluation and have your benefits reduced at the expense of your financial benefit.
At Berry, Smith & Bartell, a Professional Law Corporation, our team has the experience of more than 130 years of combined legal experience. We specialize specifically in workers' compensation cases, and our legal team can guide you through all of the complexities of fighting for the permanent disability benefits you deserve.