As you are probably aware, most workers' compensation benefits do not last forever. In fact, most of them end after one year. So what happens if you are unable to recover from your work injury? This post will go over permanent disability benefits and how they may apply to you.
Permanent disability benefits do not require that you lose your job. You can access it if your income is reduced due to your injury. Generally this means you can return to work but you cannot operate in the same job as you had prior to your injury which also results in a lowered income. Conversely if you lose your job, permanent disability probably will not replace all of your income.
In order to access permanent disability benefits, you must submit a "permanent and stationary." You can obtain a P&S report from your doctor. The doctor will evaluate you for the following conditions.
The doctor will discuss your specific medical problem(s) and describe how they affect your freedom of movement. For example, a back injury that reduces your ability to bend over and lift heavy objects would be described. The doctor would then discuss the nature of your work with you and include that in the P&S report. Essentially, how your injuries reduces your ability to do your job. He or she would also describe likelihood of recovery and give an estimate on when you would be able to return to work.
The doctor will also discuss the medical care, treatments and medications, you will require for your injuries. Finally, the doctor will examine how much of your disability is caused by your job versus how much is caused by other factors, specifically personal factors.
If you were injured while on the job, then you may want to speak to an attorney. It is important that you note any and every time you are injured because many injuries, like those to your back, may not manifest immediately. An attorney can help you prepare your claim and submit it. Worker's compensation requires certain forms filed at very specific deadlines. An attorney can ensure that you comply with all of these requirements, so you don't jeopardize your benefits.