Suffering a permanent disability changes your life forever.
It may leave you struggling to perform everyday activities. You’re probably dealing with soaring medical bills and lost wages. It often takes a physical and emotional toll on you and your family.
If your disability was caused by a workplace injury or illness, you may be eligible for relief in the form of benefits from your employer or their insurance company.
You’ll want to talk to a qualified workers’ comp attorney to determine how much you’re entitled to, and to ensure that you actually receive the full amount you are owed.
As a starting point, it also helps to understand the difference between a permanent partial disability and a total permanent disability.
Permanent Partial Disability
Permanent partial disability is the most common type of workers’ compensation claim, representing over half of all claims.
In most cases, it means you are unable to work at full capacity, but may still be able to perform some jobs with appropriate accommodations.
Here are just a few examples of injuries that can cause permanent partial disability:
- Back injuries (most common)
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Amputation of a body part, such as a finger or hand
- Hearing loss
- Loss of vision in one eye
- Knee injury
- Nerve damage
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
For Missouri workers, permanent partial disability benefits compensate you for lost wages and are determined as follows:
- Compensation is based on a percentage of your average weekly wages.
- That percentage is multiplied by a number assigned to the part of your body that was injured, and the percent of disability you’ve sustained.
- The disability percentage is subjective, based on your recovery and the type of injury sustained
An attorney can help you negotiate a higher percentage of disability. You may receive your benefits as weekly payments or as a one-time lump-sum payment.
Total Permanent Disability
In some cases, your injuries may be so severe that you are unable to work at all. Injuries that can cause permanent total disability include head trauma and spinal cord injuries.
People who suffer a permanent total disability may receive a lifetime pension under the Missouri workers’ compensation system.
- 66 ⅔% of your average weekly earnings on the date of your injury
- Benefits may not exceed an amount set by Missouri law
- You may receive weekly payments or a single lump-sum payment
In addition to compensation for lost wages, you may also be entitled to continuing medical benefits. Examples might include help with the cost of hearing aids, prosthetic limbs, or wheelchairs.
If you’re not sure what to do after experiencing a permanent disability, please contact The Alberhasky Law Firm right away.
We’re here to answer all of your questions and fight for the fair compensation you deserve at this challenging time in your life.