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Permanent Disability Benefits

If you are injured at work and that injury causes a permanent physical or mental impairment, you may be entitled to receive permanent disability (PD) payments through workers’ compensation.

Eligibility for permanent disability

You will be eligible for permanent disability benefits when your treating doctor determines that you are “permanent and stationary”. Being declared permanent and stationary means that your injury has improved as much as it will and that your condition is not expected to improve beyond its current place. If you have not been declared permanent and stationary, you are not yet eligible for permanent disability benefits but may qualify for temporary disability benefits.

Determining permanent disability

First, once your doctor has declared that you are permanent and stationary, your doctor or a qualified medical examiner (QME) will determine how much your injury affects your ability to work. This determination is called you impairment level and will be expressed as a percentage (%).

Next, the impairment level will be entered into a formula that considers your age, your employment and the date of your injury.

Finally, the formula will be used by a disability evaluator or a judge to figure out how much money you are entitled to in the form of a permanent disability award.

Appealing a doctor’s determination of your impairment level

If you do not agree with the initial impairment level that your doctor or the QME assigns to your injury, there is a process available that will allow to you get a second opinion. Your workers’ compensation attorney can help you through the appeals process and can help you select the right doctor out of the alternate doctors that will be available to you. Your workers’ compensation attorney will likely have some experience with the local workers’ compensation doctors and can let you know if a particular doctor tends to be more of less helpful than others.

If you have questions about permanent disability benefits or have been declared permanent and stationary by your doctor and want to learn more about the next steps, call our talented workers’ compensation attorneys. The team at Howard Law is here to help and answer any of your question. Call (800) 872 – 5925 for a free consultation.