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    Archive for January, 2023

    What Qualifies as a Permanent Partial Disability for Workers’ Comp

    When you are injured on the job, you could be eligible for benefits through workers’ compensation, a form of insurance that employers carry for coverage when their workers are injured on the job. Following your injury, workers’ compensation benefits present a form of wage replacement in addition to coverage for medical costs during the time required to recover from your injury. 

    Workers’ compensation benefits are generally meant to provide a short-term solution for an employee who is injured at work but will eventually be capable of returning to work in some form. When complete recovery happens, ongoing workers’ compensation is not possible, however, if your injuries impact your ability to work at a job that pays as well as before the injury, partial disability may be available to you. 

    For help identifying what benefits you could be entitled to and to make the most of your claim with the help of an experienced PA workers’ compensation attorney who helps you every step of the way, connect with Vanasse Law, LLC below, and read on to learn more. 

    How Does PA Define Disability and Partial Disability? 

    Permanent partial disability is an injury that results in impairment that falls under the threshold to be found disabled. Under law published through the PA Department of Labor and Industry, for an adult to be found disabled and qualify for related benefits, you must be “unable to do any substantial work because of your medical condition(s),” with the state adding the emphasis there. If an injured person is able to perform some level of substantial work, then permanent partial disability may be available. 

    The PA DOLI clarifies that partial disability benefits are paid: 

    • When an employee returns to work
    • Or the employee is deemed to be capable to perform currently available work as determined by an agreement or the decision of a Judge 
    • The wages paid are lower than the employee’s earnings prior to the injury 

    How Does Permanent Partial Disability Help? 

    When your injuries do not qualify you for long-term disability benefits as you have recovered enough to return to work in a different and lower-earning capacity, Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) may be available to make up the difference. The PA DOLI notes that the maximum period of payment is 500 weeks, however, they are not required to be consecutive or back-to-back. 

    The compensation rate from the date of the injury is two-thirds of the difference between the employee’s average weekly wage and the average weekly wage of the employee after their return to work. In total, permanent parietal disability in addition to the different earnings when you have returned to work cannot be higher than what you were earning prior to the injury. 

    Connect with a PA Workers’ Compensation Lawyer from Vanasse Law, LLC 

    To learn how an experienced local workers’ comp attorney from Vanasse Law can help you navigate the complex process of proving your permanent partial disability and collecting the full compensation you deserve, visit our site to schedule your free initial consultation.

    Permanent Impairment Benefits v. Disfigurement Benefits for Workers’ Compensation Injuries

    Experiencing a life-altering, long-term injury while working to support yourself and your family can not only result in a permanent change in your ability to earn but also in long-term medical costs and changes in your quality of life. The purpose of filing a claim or case for your work-related injuries is to cover the costs and damages linked to your injuries, and when they result in impairment or disfigurement, the amount can be substantial. 

    Exploring options on your case with an experienced PA workers’ compensation lawyer from Vanasse Law, LLC through a free initial consultation is a useful way to frame expectations on your case, and read on to learn more about the differences between benefits for permanent impairment or disfigurement, as you’ll see they are complementary and collected separately and in addition to one another. 

    Permanent Impairment Benefits are Paid Through Partial or Complete Disability 

    The primary aspect of your injury settlement claim will generally be for the medical and occupational costs linked to your injuries. The PA Bureau of Disability Determination (BDD) is the state agency that works with the Social Security Administration to determine whether PA citizens who are disabled are entitled to federal disability benefits. 

    Under PA law, for an adult to be found to be disabled: 

    • They must be unable to do any substantial work due to a medical condition, and
    • The medical condition must have lasted, or be expected to last, for at least one year or expected to result in the death of the injured 

    Your case and claim are supported by collected evidence that would be admissible in court to measure your damages, something your workers’ compensation attorney helps you take care of. 

    Disfigurement Benefits are Paid In Addition to Disability Benefits 

    One of the most important facts to note about disfigurement benefits in Pennsylvania is that they are paid in addition to and separately from any disability benefits you might be entitled to and/or already collecting. Generally, it will be the for-profit insurance company of your employer responding to your request through their attorneys. 

    The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry clarifies the following in reference to disfigurement benefits: 

    • They are paid for a serious, permanent, and unsightly disfigurement
    • To the heat, face, or neck area 
    • Are available for a term of 1 to 275 weeks 
    • There is no PA-law-determined amount to be paid 
    • An “Agreement Form” between the injured employee and the employer and/or their insurance provider is filed to collect the benefits 

    Connect with a PA Workers’ Compensation Lawyer from Vanasse Law, LLC 

    If you have been injured on the job and are working on measuring the damages you are entitled to for disability and/or disfigurement or are already collecting disability and would like to collect the disfigurement benefits you are entitled to, we can help. To learn how an experienced local workers’ compensation attorney from Vanasse Law can advocate for the fullest coverage for your work-related injuries possible, visit our site to schedule your free initial consultation.