Not everyone is lucky enough to fully recover from an injury sustained at work. If your medical condition stabilized and you are continuing to experience pain and significant limitations as a result of your injuries, it might be possible for you to receive permanent disability benefits. However, it is crucial to seek the assistance of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to ensure you do not make any unnecessary mistakes and that you are able to ultimately receive the favorable results you are seeking.
Determining Eligibility for Permanent Disability
In the state of California, to receive permanent disability benefits, you will need a letter from your doctor that states your recovery has reached a point at which you are unlikely to continue to get better, even with continued medical treatment. This stage in your recovery is also referred to as the “maximum medical improvement,” or MMI. After reaching this stage, your temporary disability benefits will come to an end and, if you have achieved a full recovery, you will be able to return to work. If you are suffering from a permanent disability, however, you will be unable to return to work.
The amount of compensation one is eligible for depends on the extent of the disability. There are two categories when it comes to permanent disability benefits – partial and total. If your disability will prevent you from working for the rest of your life, this is considered a total permanent disability. Benefits in such cases generally include two-thirds of the weekly wages you earned prior to your injury, which is subject to cost of living adjustments.
If you have a permanent partial disability, you can continue to receive benefits as well though the amount you receive and how long the payments last will depend on your disability, which will be described at length in your treating physician’s report.
Your Permanent Disability Rating
The report your doctor writes up will ultimately translate into a rating that assesses the extent of your injury and how it limits your ability to work, your age, and any physical or mental limitations. Remember, under workers’ compensation law, having a pre-existing medical condition will not prevent you from securing benefits for the work-related injury or illness that aggravated your condition. That said, your doctor will be required to determine what percentage of your permanent disability is related to your work-related injury or illness and what percentage is related to other factors, such as a pre-existing condition.
Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in Orange County
If you are unable to achieve a full recovery from your work-related injury or illness, you might be eligible for permanent disability benefits under California workers’ compensation law. At Alvandi Law Group, P.C., our Orange County team of attorneys is dedicated solely to workers’ compensation cases and will put our extensive experience, skill, and knowledge to work for you.
For the representation you deserve, call our office today at (800) 980-6905 to get started on your case! We provide free initial case evaluations.