"How long can I receive benefits?"
This question is usually on the forefront of injured worker's minds (not to mention their families') following their decision to pursue a workers' compensation claim. In most cases, successful claims provide benefits until the worker fully recovers and returns to work. But what about cases in which the injury is especially serious and the worker may not able to return to their position—or is unable to work at all?
Total & Partial Permanent Disability
Once medical professionals determine an injured worker has reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), it can be assessed whether or not that worker can return to work and what kind of continuing benefits they should receive. This is determined by a permanent disability rating—a classification reached via that state's permanent disability formula. An attorney or the California Division of Workers’ Compensation can help a claimant determine the rating using their medical records.
When a worker has suffered a catastrophic injury, such as paralysis, they might be classified as having total permanent disability, meaning that the effects of their injury prevent them from doing any kind of work in the future. In these cases, claimants may be eligible to receive benefits for the rest of their life.
If a claimant carries permanent effects of their injury but may still be able to work in some capacity, they may be classified as having partial permanent disability. These claimants are expected to work again in future, but perhaps at a diminished capacity due to the effects of their injuries. As such, they may be eligible for lifetime or long-term benefits that partially cover living expenses.
Fighting for the Benefits You Deserve
It is always advised that you proceed the permanent disability rating process with proven counsel by your side. These particular cases tend to raise the eyebrows of workers' compensation insurance providers who may want to prevent paying benefits to deserving claimants over a long period of time. There are many cases in which these companies will contest a permanent disability rating and look for any excuse to reduce or end a claimant's benefits.
At the Law Offices of Wax & Wax, our Glendale workers' compensation attorneys are all too familiar with insurance companies' efforts to deny deserving workers' compensation claimants the relief they deserve. Our award-winning team knows to how to counter these efforts and ensure that the gravity of our clients' is thoroughly put forth the California Division of Workers’ Compensation and, if necessary, the courtroom.
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