Permanent Disability Benefits in Columbia Workers’ Compensation Claims

In the United States, roughly one in four citizens (around 27%) suffer from some kind of disability. Whether it affects your mobility, your senses, or your cognition, people struggle to function because of their disability every day, to varying degrees. Those with severe disabilities, however, may be entitled to benefits and compensation to help. This is especially true if you were injured while on the job.

If you are injured at work in Columbia, you may be entitled to received permanent disability benefits through Missouri’s workers’ compensation laws. There are two types of permanent disability benefits allowable under Missouri Law – (1) permanent partial disability benefits; or (2) permanent total disability benefits.

The facts of your case will determine which types of benefits may be available to you. Consider reaching out to a skilled lawyer to learn more about permanent disability benefits in Columbia workers’ compensation claims.

What is ‘Permanent Disability?’

Worker’s compensation is a benefit that is typically provided to you through your employer, who works with an insurance company to provide the compensation you need. When you are injured at work, an adjuster from the employer’s insurance company will assess your injuries and send you to a doctor for treatment.

While you are treating, the adjuster might approve you for temporary disability benefits. Temporary disability benefits might be available to you if you have you to miss three or more days from work due to medical restrictions imposed as a result of your work-related injury and comes in the form of a weekly check. Eventually, however, you will hit a point referred to as maximum medical improvement. This is the point where you’ve received the treatment you need, and a doctor has decided that you have reached the maximum recovery you would expect to see based on the nature and extent of your work injury.

It is at this point that your doctor may identify that you are permanently disabled you’re your work injury. Permanent disability is the lasting disability from your work injury that could become a hindrance or obstacle towards your ability to earn a living in the future. Missouri workers’ compensation law places permanent disability into two categories of case, permanent partial disability (PPD) and permanent total disability (PTD).

Permanent Partial Disability vs Permanent Total Disability: What’s the Difference?

If the permanent disability from your work injury leaves you unable to do certain tasks, but you are still capable of working in some capacity, you are considered a permanent partial disability case. If the workplace injury caused you to lose a limb, partially lose hearing or vision, or cause permanent nerve damage, you might fall into this category. In most cases, PPD benefits are paid out in a lump sum, and the amount of that lump sum is decided through an evaluation of evidence like wage records and physician testimony.

When the extent of your injuries prevents you from participating in any work whatsoever, it is classified as a permanent total disability. Injuries that result in this are extremely severe, and many of them result in paralysis, loss of multiple limbs, brain injury, or the complete loss of a sense. When you are permanently and totally disabled, you may entitled to weekly payments for the rest of your life. Those payments are equal to two-thirds of your weekly earnings, up to a statutory cap. However, the cap set by law for PTD cases is much higher than a PPD case.

Calculating the Correct Amount of Compensation for a Worker in Columbia

Missouri law uses the following formula to determine the appropriate amount of permanent partial disability benefits: (Level) x (Compensation Rate, or AWW) x (Percentage Disability) = the Permanent Partial Disability Award.

The Level corresponds with the appropriate number of weeks available based on the body part(s) injured. The Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation provides a chart to help identify the appropriate level.

The Compensation Rate is two-thirds of the injured worker’s average weekly wage, or the maximum compensation rate under law.

The Percentage of Disability is a rate determined by an Administrative Law Judge after hearing medical experts opine as to the nature and extent of the worker’s injuries. A seasoned attorney could help you calculate your potential benefits in a permanent disability workers’ compensation claim.

Call a Columbia Lawyer to Discuss Workers’ Compensation Benefits for a Permanent Disability

If you are hurt on the job, understanding how to pursue a permanent disability benefit sin a Columbia workers’ compensation claim can be overwhelming and complex. The most important part of your journey after being injured on the job should be to focus on your health and recovery.

By using the correct language and following the correct steps, you could maximize the amount of compensation you receive for a permanent disabling injury. You should choose a lawyer who has years of experience in the field and have helped others with cases just like yours. That’s why, when you’re ready to file your workers’ compensation claim, you should call the Law Office of Chris Miller.

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