If you are injured on the job, you may be entitled to a broad spectrum
of benefits which may include:
●Temporary Total Disability/Temporary Partial Disability (TTD/TPD)
●A Permanent Partial Disability Award
●Permanent Total Disability
●Dependent’s payments in the event of death
●Reimbursement for other claims-related benefits or expenses, such as mileage
These benefits help many of our clients handle the stresses that come from
injuries that prevent them from working.
Upon conclusion of a claim, individuals deemed to have suffered a “ratable
injury” will be evaluated for a Permanent Partial Disability Award,
also known as a “PPD,” which is designed to compensate them
for an injury or condition which is permanent. The amount of compensation
a worker receives will depend on the severity of your work-related injury
Nevada Law states that insurers have thirty (30) days to schedule an appointment
with a rating doctor after receiving a report from a physician indicating
that an employee may have suffered a permanent disability. The treating
physician must indicate that the employee has reached a stable point in
his/her recovery and that no further medical care will improve outcome.
At that point, it becomes an impairment that is considered ratable under
the American Medical Association’s (AMA) Guides.
How Are Permanent Partial Disability Benefits Calculated?
Rating doctors in Nevada are required to use the Fifth Edition of the AMA
Guide to Evaluation of Permanent Impairment when determining the percentage
of an injured employee’s permanent partial disability. Using these
guidelines, they apply a degree rating to classify the impairment. The
employee will then receive compensation based on their age, wage, and
percentage of impairment per body part.
Unfortunately, many doctors aren’t familiar with the AMA Guide and
may not provide injured workers with an accurate rating. This mistake
could negatively affect your award.
For this reason, it’s important for patients to ask questions and
ensure a proper assessment has been done. In order to help you understand
your own PPD evaluation, here are a few common terms used by rating doctors:
●Apportionment. Rating doctors take into account pre-existing injuries, which may result
in a subtraction from your percentage. For a doctor to subtract from your
rating, your medical records must prove that at least 50 percent of the
final impairment is related to a prior condition or injury.
●Contralateral Joint. This method involves measurement of the uninjured opposite body part to
determine what your normal range of motion would be without the injury.
However, this can often be an unfair and inaccurate reading. Imagine if
you injured your right shoulder at work, but have had long-term arthritis
in your left shoulder. A rating doctor may only indicate that your right
shoulder should be as good as your left, even though it was much better
before the injury.
●Whole Person Impairment. A rating doctor comes up with this final percentage by combining the injury
evaluations and combining those separate percentages into one. The AMA
Guide explains how doctors should combine these numbers.
How Does Permanent Partial Disability Affect Social Security Eligibility?
Please remember that receiving compensation for your permanent partial
disability in no way disqualifies you from also collecting Social Security
benefits. Social Security Disability (SSD) payments exist to help those
who can no longer work because of an injury or illness caused by their
job. It is quite possible that your work-related disability will prevent
you from being able to work and result in lost wages. Whether permanent
or temporary, SSD can help relieve financial stress for you and your family
while you are unable to work.
With this in mind, remember that Shook & Stone is one of the few full-service
injury and disability law firms in Nevada that handles both work injuries
as well as Social Security Disability Claims. If your work-related injury
or disability is preventing you from working, contact us for a free disability
evaluation. If we believe your claim is strong enough, we can file a claim
on your behalf immediately.
How Will I Get My Permanent Partial Disability Settlement?
Your PPD settlement may come in the form of a lump sum or monthly installments.
Before deciding to accept your settlement amount and type, it’s
important to consult an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.
In some cases, taking a lump sum indicates that you agree to a final settlement
and you may be giving up your right to dispute your disability rating
or any other aspects of your claim. You may also be missing out on payment
of thousands of dollars in other benefits.
What to Do If You Think You’re Entitled to Permanent Partial Disability Benefits
A PPD can change your life for the better, forever. Understanding how PPD
benefits are calculated will help ensure that you receive the most accurate
disability rating possible, guaranteeing that you receive all of the compensation
to which you are legally entitled.
For help in building the strongest case possible,
contact the Las Vegas personal injury lawyers at Shook & Stone for a free consultation.