When you have a qualifying injury that happens on the job, you might be eligible for weekly workers’ compensation benefits. The Georgia statutes define permanent partial disability for purposes of worker’s compensation as:
“Partial in character but permanent in quality resulting from loss or loss of use of body members or from the partial loss of use of the employee’s body.”
You are not required to have sustained any economic loss from the injury to be a candidate for permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits, but not all injuries that qualify for worker’s compensation benefits in Georgia qualify for PPD benefits.
To learn more work injury benefits and to schedule a free consultation, call S. Burke Law at 404-842-7838.
How to Calculate Permanent Partial Disability Benefits
Your authorized treating physician (your workers’ compensation doctor) will evaluate your on-the-job injury and assign a percentage of bodily loss or loss of use to your permanent partial disability by using the American Medical Association’s guidelines. The impairment award will be based on the number of weeks that the Georgia statutes assign to your impaired body parts. For example, the law assigns a maximum of:
- 225 weeks for an injured arm
- 160 weeks for a hand
- 75 weeks for traumatic loss of hearing in one ear
- 150 weeks for the loss of vision in one eye
- 300 weeks for disability to the whole body
Your weekly benefits check will be two-thirds of your average weekly income for the number of weeks that apply to your injury. For example, if you lost your hearing in one ear because of an injury on the job, you can get a weekly check for two-thirds of your income for 75 weeks, even if you are back at work and earning your full previous wage.
Other Worker’s Compensation Benefits
You can only collect one type of worker’s compensation benefits at a time, even if you meet the requirements for more than one kind. As a result, if you are collecting Temporary Total Disability benefits or Temporary Partial Disability benefits, you cannot start getting Permanent Partial Disability Benefits until your other workers’ compensation benefits run out.
What to Do After Your Temporary Total and Partial Disability Benefits Expire
After your temporary disability benefits run out, Permanent Partial Disability benefits for a qualifying injury can start. There are three common situations in which a person gets PPD benefits:
- You received Temporary Total Disability benefits until you healed to the point at which you could return to work. If less than 350 weeks have passed since your injury and your injury causes you to make less money, you might get Temporary Partial Disability benefits until they expire, and then you might be eligible for PPD benefits.
- You received Temporary Total Disability benefits until you healed to the point at which you could return to work, more than 350 weeks have passed, and your injury causes you to earn less money than before you got hurt. Since you cannot get Temporary Partial Disability benefits after 350 weeks have passed since your injury, you might qualify for Permanent Partial Disability benefits.
- You received Temporary Total Disability benefits until you healed to the point at which you could return to work. You are able to earn the same amount of money as before your injury, so you do not qualify for Temporary Partial Disability benefits. If your injury qualifies, you might get to collect Permanent Partial Disability benefits, even though you are not losing income.
To speak with a workers’ compensation lawyer in Atlanta, call S. Burke Law at 404-842-7838.
Catastrophic Injuries and Permanent Partial Disability Benefits
People who sustain catastrophic injuries can stay on Temporary Total Disability benefits past the 400-week rule, as long as they cannot work at all because of their injury. You cannot collect both Temporary Total Disability and Permanent Partial Disability at the same time.
Let’s say that you eventually can go back to work after a catastrophic injury but at lower pay because of your injury. More than 350 weeks has passed, so you are not eligible for Temporary Partial Disability to help offset the difference in your pay. You should request a disability rating from your authorized treating physician and then apply for Permanent Partial Disability.
Call S. Burke Law for help navigating workers’ compensation laws. You can get legal help with your workers’ compensation claim with no upfront attorney fees. Call us today at 404-842-7838 to get your no-cost consultation.