Just like any type of injury or illness, work-related health issues can vary significantly in severity. In certain cases, a person might suffer a minor on-the-job injury that involves minimal time away from work and a straightforward medical remedy. On the other hand, a person’s work-related health concern might be so severe that the possibility of being able to return to the job seems unlikely.
According to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, permanent total disability is defined by a condition that makes it impossible for a person to return to their previous job role or any other profession. This type of medical condition is obviously going to require a lifestyle change, in addition to potential ongoing medical care.
Workers who are in this position should know that they aren’t necessarily out of options. Receiving financial coverage for a work-related injury isn’t contingent upon an individual’s ability to get back to work.
Keeping this in mind, it may be worthwhile to look into long-term disability benefits. The state department of labor notes that those who are living with permanent total disability are eligible to receive up to two-thirds of their average weekly pay, which is disbursed over the worker’s lifetime. In other words, there is no expiration date on this type of benefit.
Like any other claim related to a workplace injury or illness, medical certification will be necessary. Since permanent total disability benefits are paid for an indefinite period of time, it makes sense that clear evidence will have to be provided to insurers. Any minor mistake could be used as grounds to turn down chronically injured or ill employees, even when they definitely qualify.
Source: Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, “What is permanent total disability?” accessed July 10, 2014