People work to sustain their everyday needs. And the thought of not being able to work is frightening. However, reality dictates that once in your life you will be disabled due to either an accident or illness. When it happens, you must clarify your financial status and get a decision about your total and permanent disability (TPD) as soon as possible. This is because there are strict rules in making a claim due to the requirement of extensive medical reports.
What is a Total Permanent Disability?
Generally, TPD occurs when a person is unable to work on his own for any job which is suited by his training, experience and education due to a sickness or injury. A disability of this type is determined by your ability to participate in an open job market. If your doctor imposes upon you physical restrictions when you return to work, you are considered disabled because the restriction could prevent you from taking certain types of jobs in the future.
Claims and Compensation for Permanent Disability
Permanent disability entitles you to a sum of money. In California, it is called a permanent disability award which compensates you for your diminished future earning capacity. In short, if your permanent disability restricts your physical activities, you are entitled to get compensation.
Should you be entitled to a permanent disability award, payments are due even if you return to work, perform the exact job you have before the disability, or does not suffer any wage loss.
For instance, if you fell and injured your knee as a consequence while working as a cashier in a restaurant and your doctor restricted you from lifting heavy objects even after your condition stabilizes, you would still be entitled to permanent disability award. This is because your inability to lift objects would affect your chances of getting future employment.
Permanent Disability Status
It usually takes months and even years to determine whether you are permanently disabled or not. Primarily, your doctor must confirm that you are indeed disabled. For injuries occurring after 2005, reaching a permanent and stationary status is also known as having reached a “maximal medical improvement” which means that your condition is well stabilized and unlikely to change substantially in the coming years.
Injury Limitations by Medical Evaluation Reports
After your condition has stabilized, your doctor or any qualified medical evaluators would write medical reports setting forth various limitations as a result of your injury. These opinions are converted into a percentage of disability. The percentage of disability will then be converted to amount of money which you will be entitled to.For more information and better understanding of disability law, benefits and claims, it is best to consult with a disability lawyer.
- This article is provided for informational purposes only. If you need help with an Social Security question, click here to consult with a Rodney Mesriani or a Social Security lawyer in your area.