Workers’ Compensation Permanent Disability Benefits: Partial Vs. Total Explained

Permanent Disability Benefits

When one thinks of a permanent disability, it is easy to jump to the extremely severe injuries such as lost limbs or paralysis. These, however, are not the only injuries that qualify for permanent disability status under California’s workers’ compensation system. The system utilizes a percentage scale from 1 to 100. On this scale, a disability is assigned a percentage in accordance with the extent to which it impedes an employee from performing job duties at the workplace or daily activities of living outside the workplace. Thus, type of injury alone is not determinative of percentage. The nature of employment and daily activities of living must be factored in as well. For example, even the loss of a leg might not have a significant impact on a data entry clerk, as the nature of data entry is typing on a keyboard with one’s hands. However, a seemingly minor injury such as carpal tunnel syndrome – an ailment of the nerves in the wrists, hands, and fingers – might have an extremely detrimental effect on data entry. The takeaway is that, with regard to workers’ compensation in California, the assignment of permanent disability status is a multi-factored process.

Workers Compensation Permanent Disability Benefits

Workers Compensation Permanent Disability Benefits

Under California’s workers’ compensation system, a permanent disability can be partial or total. A disability is considered permanent if, after ample time for a full recovery has been allowed, an employee does not make a full recovery. This shortfall is often expressed in terms of a percentage. For example, if, prior to injury, the employee was 100% able-bodied, and was only able to get back to 90%, then he or she has suffered a 10% permanent disability. A disability of this nature is considered partial; it does not prevent an employee from returning to work entirely, but it might reduce the number of job duties an employee can perform, slow the rate at which the employee can perform, or increase the pain caused by performance. If, on the other hand, a disability is so severe as to altogether prevent an injured employee from returning to the labor market, it is considered total and assigned a 100% disability rating.

What To Do If You Have Been Injured and suffered a Permanent Disability In A Workplace Accident In The State Of California

Have you been injured on the job in California? Has an incomplete recovery affected your ability to perform your job or go about your usual activities outside the workplace, or prevented you from working entirely? Contact an experienced California workers’ compensation attorney today. Navigating California’s workers’ compensation system can be complex, and a skilled attorney will explain your legal rights and work to obtain the maximum compensation you are entitled to for your injuries and any disabilities they have caused.