What Is Permanent Partial Disability?
Unfortunately, thousands of workers get injured in Ohio annually. These injuries can range anywhere from minor to severe. Those who are fortunate will recover quickly and be able to return to work. However, not everyone is that lucky.
Many Ohio workers suffer injuries or illnesses that leave them with permanent physical damage and prevent them from working or living a normal life. This is unfair and overwhelming, which is why the Ohio BWC offers permanent partial disability benefits (PPD benefits) to injured workers.
Anyone who has suffered a loss of range of motion, permanent pain, decreased strength, etc., because of a work accident is entitled to a PPD award, of which the amount will vary depending on the specifics of his or her injury. Therefore, anyone who has suffered an on-the-job permanent injury needs to contact a compassionate and experienced attorney who can help them fight for their rights and obtain the compensation they're entitled to.
What Is Permanent Partial Disability?
A permanent partial disability occurs when an employee suffers an occupational disease or work-related injury that causes permanent damage to a part of their body. When this happens, the injured worker may be entitled to PPD benefits.
Generally speaking, PPD involves the partial loss or full loss of an extremity, such as an arm, leg, foot, finger, or hand). However, there are other medical conditions under which an injured worker can qualify for PPD benefits. Furthermore, this type of workers' compensation benefits is available for both physical and psychological conditions.
Permanent partial disability is different from total permanent disability in that the victim does not have to be completely disabled or unable to work to qualify for benefits. As a result, the victim won't qualify for temporary total disability benefits under Ohio Law.
PPD benefits are designed to help injured Ohio workers who suffered a permanent impairment that affects their ability to work but does not leave them completely disabled.
How Permanent Partial Disability Works in Ohio
Firstly, the injured victim must file a PPD application. After this, the Ohio BWC will schedule an independent medical exam for the victim.
This exam will help the BWC determine a base for the percentage of permanent partial disability. After the exam, the BWC issues a tentative order finding the percentage of permanent partial disability the injured worker is entitled to for their injury.
It's crucial to note that any other type of workers' compensation benefits need to stop before the victim can file for permanent partial disability compensation. Then, permanent disability benefits will be calculated based on the percentage of the impairment caused by the occupational disease or injury.
Victims receive two weeks of PPD compensation for every one percent of permanent partial disability. Therefore, anyone with a 10% impairment rating is entitled to 20 weeks of PPD benefits.
This differs from a PPD award, which is a lump sum payment. When an individual opts for a PPD award, they receive 66 2/3% of the injured worker's average weekly wage in a once-off payment.
Keep in mind that a PPD award is not a settlement of the claim, even though it is a lump sum payment. Rather, the PPD award extends the life of the claim for an additional five years.
When Are Workers Eligible for PPD Benefits in Ohio?
Any worker who has suffered a permanent injury or illness due to a work-related accident may be eligible for PPD benefits. The injury or illness suffered generally causes a restriction in one's ability to work; for example, losing a finger while on the job at a construction site and not being able to carry on with the heavy lifting required by the job.
Some of the most common medical conditions that result in PPD benefits being awarded include:
Loss of vision in one eye
Loss of a limb
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
What Happens When the Injured Worker Does Not Agree with the Impairment Rating?
There are times when people don't agree with the BWC's percentage of permanent partial disability determined during the medical examination. Under these circumstances, the injured worker is allowed to file an objective within 20 days of receiving the tentative order issued by the BWC.
If an objection is filed, a hearing will be scheduled with the Industrial Commission of Ohio, which will consider all relevant medical evidence and conclude on the percentage of permanent partial disability. This determination will be considered final, and once made, the BWC will pay out the PPD award to the victim.
The Industrial Commission is also responsible for a range of other tasks when it comes to workers' compensation and injured workers in Ohio, such as determining maximum medical improvement (MMI).
Why It's Crucial to Hire an Attorney for Permanent Partial Disability Benefits
Victims naturally want to receive the maximum compensation possible. Working with an experienced attorney makes this possible. At Larrimer & Larrimer, we'll take care of the entire process, including:
Filing an objection
Obtaining medical evidence to support the PPD claim
Representing clients at the hearing with the Industrial Commission
A reputable attorney will do everything in their power to ensure their client gets the maximum PPD award they're entitled to. They'll explain how ppd is calculated and do all the hard work while their client focuses on recovering and overcoming the horrible ordeal they experienced.
Contact Our Ohio Attorneys Today!
Anyone who has suffered a terrible ordeal due to work conditions is entitled to compensation. Under the Ohio workers' compensation system, those who have suffered a permanent disability to a part of their body, are entitled to PPD.
After experiencing something so tragic, many people don't want to be bothered with filing claims. This is where hiring a compassionate and knowledgeable workers comp law firm comes in.
The experienced lawyers at Larrimer & Larrimer in Columbus, Ohio, are ready to help injured workers secure the PPD benefits they're entitled to. Our attorneys will fight tooth and nail to protect our clients' rights. Contact us today or fill in the online quote form to schedule a free consultation.