Permanent Disability Benefits For A Workplace Injury: How To Claim, And What Is The PD Rating?

BY: Koszdin | Tuesday, April 10, 2018.

While most employees in Los Angeles and elsewhere in California recover from their workplace injuries, some are left disabled for the rest of their lives. When the latter happens, an injured worker may be eligible for permanent disability (PD) benefits through a workers’ compensation claim.

What permanent disability truly means

Hearing your treating doctor tell you that you will never recover completely from your on-the-job injury is one of the most devastating experiences in a worker’s life. A permanent disability stemming from a workplace injury means that the worker will no longer be able to perform his or her job the way he/she had before the injury.

This means a worker’s earning capacity will be greatly affected, which, in turn, translates into a loss of wages and inability to provide for yourself and your family like you could before the injury.

Workers’ compensation claims involving permanent disability are taken seriously in Los Angeles and all across California. It makes sense that that permanent disability (PD) benefits are meant to cover your income lost, but our Los Angeles workplace injuries attorney at the Koszdin, Fields & Sherry law firm warns: they may not truly cover the full extent of your loss of earning capacity.

What happens after you become permanently disabled?

But what actually happens after your doctor informs you that you have a permanent disability? And how to claim permanent disability benefits if your condition becomes “permanent and stationary” (P&S)?

First things first, let’s define what a permanent disability is. Our Los Angeles workplace injuries lawyer says that a condition is referred to as “permanent and stationary” when your medical condition reaches a point of (1) not improving and (2) not getting worse.

If you have a permanent disability, ask your primary treating physician to write a P&S report, which should include the following elements in order to make you eligible for permanent disability benefits under your workers’ compensation claim:

  • What medical problems you have: the extent to which you are unable to move the injured parts, or how your organs are unable to fully recover after the injury, and/or how much pain you have, etc.;
  • Outline the “work restrictions,” or, in other words, describe how your permanent disability affects your earning capacity and what limits it places on your work and physical activities related to work;
  • Medical treatment and care that you are expected to receive in the foreseeable future, if any;
  • Whether or not you are or will be able to return to your pre-injury job duties;
  • An evaluation of the extent to which your workplace injury or job contributed to your permanent disability. In other words, were any other factors outside of work involved in making you disabled?

After the P&S report has been completed, hand it over to your Los Angeles workers’ compensation attorney and let him/her review its contents. If the report has been written properly, your doctor should send it to the workers’ compensation claims administrator.

Also, do not forget to get a copy of the P&S report, as it a critical document that can make you eligible for permanent disability benefits.

How are permanent disability payments determined?

If you have been approved to receive permanent disability benefits as a result of your workplace injury, you are probably wondering how the claims administrator determines the amount of such payments.

These are the factors taken into account by claims administrators to determine how much of permanent disability benefits you will be paid:

  • A rating of your disability (an estimate of how your permanent disability truly affects your earning capacity);
  • The descriptions by your physician in the P&S report;
  • The date of injury;
  • Your salary and wages before the workplace injury;
  • Whether or not your current employer has any work offers available for you, which would meet the “work restrictions” requirements outlined by your doctor.

It is highly advised to be legally represented by a Los Angeles workers’ compensation attorney in order to ensure that the way your permanent disability payments are determined is fair and reflects the full extent of your workplace injuries and permanent disability. Contact the Koszdin, Fields & Sherry law firm for a free evaluation of your case today. Call our offices at 818-812-5639 or (toll free) 800-747-3447 or complete this contact form.

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