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 Permanent Total Disability

If you sustain an injury at work that leaves you permanently disabled, you may be wondering how you are going to support yourself and your family if you are no longer able to work and earn a salary. Accepting the fact that you have an injury-related disability can be difficult, both physically and emotionally. Fortunately, you may be eligible for a life pension payment through your employer’s Workers’ Compensation plan.

Generally speaking, in order for you to qualify for a lifetime pension, you will need to meet the criteria for permanent total disability. This varies by state, but the standard is usually quite high, including total paralysis, or a brain injury resulting in mental incapacity.

When Will You Start to Receive Permanent Disability Benefits?

 In most cases, you will only qualify for permanent total disability benefits when your condition no longer has the potential to improve further. If your doctor believes that there are other treatment options available that could help improve your condition, you will not yet be considered permanently and totally disabled.

Once your doctor confirms your disability, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyer to ensure that your rights are protected. It is common for employers, or their Workers’ Compensation insurance carriers to deny lifetime pensions because they are expensive. If your initial claim is denied, your Workers’ Compensation lawyer can advocate for you and protect your interests.

Depending on the details of the final settlement, you may receive benefit payments monthly, bi-monthly, or on another schedule determined by your state. In addition to the regular payment, you may be eligible for continuing related medical benefits, including new hearing aids if your hearing loss was due to a work injury, and new prosthetic devices if an industrial injury resulted in an amputation.

Calculating a Permanent Total Disability Claim

An employee who is permanently disabled from a work injury is entitled to two-thirds of the average weekly salary at the time of the injury, as well as medical expenses related to the injury. The employee will receive these benefits for as long as he or she lives. An exception to this rule is if the employee is also receiving Social Security disability benefits, in which case the total federal and state benefits cannot exceed 80 percent of the employee’s average earnings before the injury.

Pros and Cons of Accepting a Settlement

Pros

If you decide not to accept a settlement with your company’s Workers’ Compensation insurance, you can pursue the following options:

  • Accept the weekly permanent disability payment that the insurance company offers
  • Go to trial with the insurance company to seek more money, whether it is a higher lump sum or weekly payments
  • Avoid the stress and hassle of waiting for and attending a hearing
  • The insurance company may offer you money in exchange for benefits you may never use, like future surgeries for a hand injury

Cons

  • If you give up your right to future medical treatment as part of your settlement, you will have a hard time having your health plan cover it at a later date.
  • If the settlement is in the form of a lump sum, some might spend the money right away. A weekly payment could be more helpful with monthly expenses.

 

Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers of Gross & Kenny, LLP Help Clients Obtain Permanent Total Disability Benefits

If you have a permanent disability as a result of a work injury, the Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyers of Gross & Kenny, LLP, are on your side to make sure you receive the benefits you are entitled to, so that you can continue to support yourself and your family. To schedule a complimentary consultation, call us today at 267-589-0090 or 215-512-1500 or contact us online. Our offices are located in Philadelphia, where we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania.