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Permanent Disability through Workers' Compensation

California Workers' Compensation Claims

If you or a loved one has been injured or diagnosed with an illness due to work, and you are not expected to fully recover, you may qualify for permanent disability (PD) benefits in California. The San Bernardino lawyers at the Law Office of Mann and Mann have over 30 years of experiencing handling California workers’ compensation claims of all kinds and can help you secure the disability, medical, and other benefits you deserve if you have been in a work accident.

To learn more, continue to read the information on this page, or call us at (909) 639-3339 to speak to an experienced attorney during a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

What Kinds of Injuries & Illnesses Usually Fall Under Permanent Disability?

A permanent disability stems from an injury or illness that affects you long-term, if not for life. PDs may not render you completely unable to work or function; however, they must prevent you from functioning in the manner you were able to before the affliction occurred to qualify for benefits.

Workplace injuries that tend to result in permanent disabilities include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Loss of limb
  • Severe burns
  • Total or industrial blindness
  • Back, knee, and other joint injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Hearing loss
  • Respiratory diseases
  • Cancer

How Do I Qualify for Permanent Disability?

To be eligible for PD benefits in California, the doctor treating your work injury or illness must write a report stating that you have reached the point of maximum medical improvement (MMI). This means you are unlikely to get better within the next year, even with continued medical treatment.

At this point, you should have already filed a workers’ compensation claim and received benefits related to your medical expenses and lost wages. If you were already on temporary disability (TD), you will start to receive permanent disability benefits almost immediately.

How Is Permanent Disability Calculated in California?

Before you can figure out how much money you are owed, your doctor must determine how much your disability will affect you and your ability to work. Permanent disability is calculated as a percentage of your ability to work in the labor market on a scale from 0% to 100%.

There are two types of permanent disability benefits:

  • Total Permanent Disability (TPD): If your disability rating is under 100%, you are considered to be partially disabled. This will entitle you to weekly payments for a certain period of time; the higher the disability rating, the longer you will receive payments. A higher percentage also equals higher payments.
  • Partial Permanent Disability (PPD): If your disability rating is 100%, you have a permanent total disability in the eyes of the state. This will entitle you to weekly payments indefinitely.

The amount you are paid in benefits is calculated based on the percentage of your disability and two-thirds of your average weekly wages (AWW). However, the amount is capped based on a certain dollar value set by the State. The amount is regularly adjusted and can vary year by year—between 2014 and 2018, the minimum was $160 a week and the maximum was $290, for example. Payments for PD are made every two weeks by your employer’s insurance company. These payments are not usually considered taxable.

If you have any questions or are ready to get started on your workers’ compensation claim, please contact us as soon as possible.

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