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Understanding Permanent Disability And Your Rights

If a worker reaches maximum medical improvement but still suffers from work-related injuries, the worker may be eligible for permanent impairment benefits. There are two types of permanent impairment benefits in Colorado:

  • Permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits
  • Permanent total disability (PTD) benefits

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At the Eley Law Firm in Denver, we answer questions about workers’ compensation benefits and protect the rights of workers who have been injured on the job throughout Colorado.

Permanent Partial Disability Benefits Are For Those Who Are Able To Work

Permanent partial disability benefits (PPD) are paid to workers who have a permanent physical impairment but can return to some type of employment. The Colorado Supreme Court has ruled that injured workers who can earn any wages are entitled only to permanent partial disability benefits and are not entitled to permanent total disability benefits.

Permanent partial disability benefits are paid based on a disability rating provided by the authorized treating physician. This rating is based on a rating procedure provided by the American Medical Association in its publication “The Guides to Evaluating Permanent Impairment” (Third Edition, Revised).

Permanent Total Disability Benefits Are For Those Who Cannot Work

If a worker cannot return to any employment as a result of an on-the-job injury, he or she is entitled to permanent total disability benefits (PTD). Permanent total disability benefits are defined as two-thirds of the worker’s wages for the lifetime of the worker. The amount of these benefits is subject to the same limits as temporary total disability benefits.

In order to receive PTD benefits, the worker cannot be capable of returning to any employment, even if it’s part time or for much lower wages than the worker received before the injury. Benefits entitlement is often based on the worker’s restrictions, job experience, training and available jobs in the area.

Insurance companies rarely approve PTD benefits without an order from a judge finding that the worker is permanently totally disabled. If you believe you are permanently totally disabled, you should contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer at the Eley Law Firm for advice.

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Call Eley Law Firm today at 720-759-3064 for a free case evaluation from a workers’ compensation attorney. You may also fill out the email form on the Contact page, and a representative from the office will be in touch with you shortly.

We look forward to hearing from you and helping with your workers’ comp case.

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