Virginia has several different types of compensation, or money, that you may receive after you have been injured at work and have filed a worker’s compensation claim. The names of several of them sound similar, and it can be difficult to understand what each one means. One type is Permanent Partial Disability Benefits, for people who have been injured and permanently lost the use of a body part.
Permanent Partial Disability Benefits
Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) Benefits are paid if you permanently lose the ability to use a body part, not counting your back or neck. If you are injured at work and are unable to use your arm, leg, hand, foot, finger, or eye afterwards, for example, you may receive Permanent Partial Disability Benefits. You may have nerve damage and be unable to use your arm, for example, or you may have had a body part amputated. Both situations could quality for Permanent Partial Disability Benefits.
These benefits are only for specific parts of your body, and don’t include your back, your neck, or your entire body. They are also only for losing the ability to use one part of your body, not multiple parts. You may also be able to get Permanent Partial Disability benefits if you lose your vision (sight) or your hearing, or if you have a disfigurement such as severe scarring that keeps you from working normally.
Maximum medical improvement is the maximum amount you will be able to improve after an injury. For some injuries you can eventually improve to be at the same level of using your body as you were before your injury. For other injuries, you will not be able to regain the same amount of function. If you have reached maximum medical improvement but still cannot use one part of your body, you can still receive Permanent Partial Disability benefits even if you are working.
The doctor that you’re working with will see that you reach maximum medical improvement, so you’re not expected to heal more from your injury. Once you have reached that level, the doctor can have you evaluated for a permanent impairment rating. This rating says how much you are unable to work, from 0% to 100%. The American Medical Association has guidelines that help doctors determine your impairment rating. The impairment rating you receive determines what your benefits will be.
You can’t receive Permanent Partial Disability Benefits and Temporary Total Disability Benefits at the same time. PPD Benefits are a permanent (forever) loss of part of your ability to use your body, while TTD Benefits are a temporary (just for now) loss of all of your ability to work.
Call 888-580-9048 for a free consultation with HammondTownsend if you’ve been hurt at work. We’ll talk with you to get you the right kind of benefits for your situation, explain all of the processes, and help you through the situation.