Did you know Texas is the lone state that doesn’t mandate employers to provide workers’ compensation coverage?
However, even if you don’t live and work in Texas, you’ll still need to check the benefits your state offers for injured or ill workers. Most include partial wage replacement when the employee cannot work, while others also provide reimbursement for medical services and occupational therapy.
Now, if you suffered permanent total disability as a result of doing your job, you may wonder what benefits you can claim if your employer maintains workers’ comp. Here, we’ll talk about what you need to know about workers’ comp claims for prolonged illness or permanent injuries.
First Things First: Eligibility for Permanent Total Disability
If you sustained bodily injuries while working, you need to go to a workers’ compensation doctor. It’s up to them to determine if you qualify for permanent disability benefits.
During your treatment, your doctor will check your progress. They will say if your condition has reached MMI or maximum critical improvement. When it does, you’ll undergo a thorough examination to see if your injuries resulted in any permanent restrictions or limitations.
Supposing you have them, your doctor will note your disability rating or percentage. Now, this can be a whole person impairment rating, especially if your injury affects the following parts: head, neck, back, internal systems, and vital organs.
More on Permanent Disability Benefits
How much you’ll get once your doctor tells you you’re disabled for life is a difficult thing to calculate. It depends on how your state determines benefits.
Let’s say you lost both arms and legs, or you became completely blind. If your doctor assigns you a 30% impairment rating, and your payment is determined to be $100,000, your permanent impairment would be worth $30,000 (100,000 x 30%).
As for weekly compensation benefits, most states have a cap of around $1,000 per week. If you have concerns about your impairment rating, you can always ask for a re-evaluation by a different doctor. You can also consult a workers’ compensation attorney.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt to dialogue with your employer before you do these. Maybe they can also contact their provider to help you with your claim. You can check out oneforcewc.com to have an idea about workers’ comp options.
Beyond Workers’ Compensation
If you’re unable to work because of permanent total disability, it helps to know that workers’ comp isn’t your only option.
There’s private disability insurance. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs are also there to aid people with disabilities.
Also, if you work for the government, it’s worth looking into federal disability programs.
Have You Been Injured at Work?
If you sustained an injury while doing your job, your best course of action is to see a workers’ comp doctor.
Once they determine your eligibility for permanent total disability, the process for claiming benefits can start, and if you have concerns, you can see a different doctor. You can also consult with a lawyer.
For more information related to workers’ compensation, be sure to check our other posts.