Oftentimes, the workers’ compensation system is willing to meet you halfway.
In the unfortunate occurrence of suffering a workplace injury that leaves you completely unable to perform the functions of your job, you may be eligible for permanent total disability (PTD) benefits.
In many cases, though, the nature of the injury sustained during work and its effects on future employment status aren’t so cut-and-dry. This is where permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits come into play.
When you suffer a permanent impairment upon being injured at work, yet aren’t rendered completely unable to hold future employment, it’s worthwhile to consider pursuing a permanent partial disability claim. Think of it as a happy medium between total disability and not receiving any workers’ comp coverage at all.
Permanent partial disability represents one of the most common types of workers’ compensation. Examples include sustaining an injury that results in the loss of a finger or some type of doctor-ordered labor limitation, like avoiding heavy lifting. While these injuries don’t necessarily prevent a worker from continued employment, they produce a permanent impairment that can reduce future earnings potential.
With pursuit of permanent partial disability coverage, a patient approach is often necessary. Your medical treatment must continue until you’ve reached your peak improvement level (often referred to as “maximum medical improvement”) as determined by your medical professional. Only then can the nature of your remaining disability, and in turn your claim amount, be properly gauged.
In Ohio, the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) determines the initial percentage of permanent partial impairment award based on an independent medical examiner’s recommendation. A statewide network of physicians provides this exam to eligible applicants, with the BWC subsequently issuing a tentative order citing the percentage of disability awarded.
Once the award has been established, both the worker and the employer have 20 days to file an objection, otherwise the award becomes effective.
At Taubman Law we are prepared to represent you and fight for your rights regardless of whether your claim calls for partial or total disability coverage. It’s our privilege to serve you in an expert legal capacity.
This post was written by Cleveland attorney Bruce D. Taubman, who practices workers’ compensation, personal injury and medical malpractice throughout Ohio.