Q:

How are permanent disability charts used to determine benefit eligibility?

A:

Quick Answer

For a worker injured on the job, permanent disability charts can show the amount of benefits that he is eligible to receive per week based on a permanent disability (PD) rating percentage system, as noted by Nolo.com. The PD rating system is from zero to 100 percent, where 100 percent means total permanent disability and any disability rating less than 100 percent is called partial permanent disability.

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Full Answer

A worker with a 100 percent PD rating receives lifetime permanent disability benefits because his injuries are severe and the worker cannot perform his former job duties. In California, the disability benefit amount is a lifetime weekly payment that is equivalent to his temporary disability benefits.

Injured workers with PD ratings, which are less than 100 percent, can use different charts to figure out their weekly payments and time lengths for these payments. The charts show maximum amounts of benefits based on date of injury and PD percentage ratings. To figure out the length of time a worker is eligible for these payments another chart, called the Permanent Disability Indemnity table, is used. In New York, the time length for benefits is 350 weeks for a PD rating of 50 percent, as noted by New York State's Workers' Compensation Board. In California, a worker can get benefits for 271.25 weeks for a PD rating of 50 percent and an injury that occurred in 2013, notes Nolo.com.

However, in order to receive permanent disability benefits, a doctor needs to certify that the worker has come to a point in the recovery process where the injured worker's condition is not expected to improve further during the next year despite any medical treatments. To assess and rate permanent disabilities, different states can use different guidelines or establish their own system.

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