Work injuries are more than an inconvenience for most; they can leave you with lasting disabilities that interfere with your ability to enjoy life and provide for yourself and your family. Thankfully, Nevada has a workers’ compensation plan designed to reimburse you for your decreased ability to work — regardless of how minor your disability may seem. The system places limits on the money awarded to you, however, so it’s important to understand the permanent partial disability calculator as you plan your income around these payments.
What Is a PPD Award?
Every employer is legally obligated, with few exceptions, to provide workers’ compensation insurance. This coverage is in place to protect the company in case an employee is injured or becomes ill while working. Permanent partial disability (PPD) is the most frequently filed workers’ compensation claim, as most injuries that occur in the workplace do not lead to permanent impairment.
PPD benefits are intended to sustain those who have been temporarily impaired by their injuries and can no longer carry out their job responsibilities to their fullest extent. The amount of money awarded to an injured worker varies based on the extent of the injury or illness. If a doctor confirms that you have a ratable injury, or an injury that can be given a number rating based on the severity, you may be eligible for PPD awards according to Nevada’s state regulations.
PPD Under Nevada Law
In Nevada, you have 30 days to have a doctor rate your physician and provide a report with verification of your disability. Unlike federally administered funds like Social Security, PPD benefits are distributed by the state and are subject to local guidelines. Once your physician declares that no further medical treatments will improve your condition, you are considered ratable under the guidelines set by the American Medical Association.
How to Calculate Permanent Partial Disability
When you visit a rating doctor in Nevada, they’ll rate your disability with a percentage by assigning a level of impairment to each body part affected. This percentage, along with your wage and age at the time of the injury, will be used to determine your compensation. (The percentage isn’t based on your ability to work, but it determines the length of a retraining program if you are eligible for vocational rehabilitation services.) Sometimes, this means that two people with the same injury could end up with different settlement amounts.
As a rule of thumb, each impairment percentage will merit an award of 0.6% of your monthly wage. So, for example, if you are deemed 15% impaired and you earn $3,000 per month as your average monthly wage, the formula would be as follows: (0.006) x 3,000 x 15 = $270. Therefore, you would receive $270 per month. Distributions begin when temporary total disability benefits end. You will continue to receive them for five years or until you turn 70.
This calculation works a little differently for people who are considered to be over 30% impaired. You can learn how the math works out on the worksheets provided on the State of Nevada Department of Business & Industry website.
If you’d like an estimate of what your calculation would be, you can use the easy PPD calculator on this page.
Scheduled Versus Unscheduled Losses
Some states distribute benefits according to a schedule of losses, which pre-determines the number of compensable weeks available to a person according to their injury. A typical week of compensation is worth two-thirds of the worker’s average weekly salary up to a certain point. Nevada is not a state that uses a schedule of losses for injuries, and some states stray from their schedule for unlisted, incalculable work-related injuries, such as brain, lung, or back injuries. For these, there are a few methods for calculating benefits:
- Impairment-based approach: Most states take this approach in calculating PPD benefits. Your level of impairment will be the determining factor in deciding how many weeks worth of benefits you receive based on your wages before your injury.
- Wage loss approach: Only a fifth of the states uses this approach because it is difficult to determine whether the injury caused a loss of wages. It is calculated using the actual wages that were lost as a result of your work-related injury.
- Loss-of-earning-capacity approach: This method of calculation attempts to predict the future about an injured worker’s ability to earn money moving forward. It takes the individual’s age, training, education, and work history into consideration.
Payout Options for PPD Benefits
Injured workers can choose how their PPD benefits are distributed. They can either receive all the money upfront in a lump sum or smaller installments over time until the age of 70. Bear in mind that the state of Nevada reduces lump sums to reflect current values. If you are more than 25% disabled, you may only receive 25% of your benefits as a lump sum. Everything over that will be distributed as installments. You can see how your minimum lump sum calculation works here.
How to Obtain Maximum Benefits
Of all the ways that are used to calculate PPD benefits from state to state, no single method is superior to another. No matter how you approach the calculations on your own, flaws, struggles, and consequences can ensue. The best way to minimize headaches and maximize your benefits is to hire a qualified workers’ compensation attorney who understands Nevada laws.
Our legal team at Shook & Stone is well-versed in Nevada’s PPD guidelines. We’re here to reduce your suffering at a difficult time and provide the best outcome. Call us or fill out the form for a free consultation.
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