by Andrew Bainbridge | May 19, 2015 | Workers' Compensation
If you’re like a lot of our regular readers, then you probably have a lot of questions about the workers’ compensation system and your right to benefits after suffering a work-related injury. But just like our other readers, you might not know how to classify your condition.
Are you temporarily disabled or permanently disabled? Does your disability require you to change occupations or are you left unable to work altogether? If these are the questions you need answers to then keep reading because today we’re going to address permanent total disability.
As we explain on our website, permanent total disability is an injury or illness that leaves a person unable to do their job or any other job, forcing them to leave the workforce. This can be incredibly devastating for anyone, particularly those who still have a number of years in which they could work but are unable to because of the seriousness of their disability.
One example of a case of permanent total disability would be a surgeon being diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome and told that they cannot perform surgery any more. Another example might be an automotive mechanic losing their sight because of an occupational illness. In these cases, the worker’s specific skills couples with their disability has left them unable to work and likely unable to perform another job, meaning they may qualify for disability benefits.
Because a person who is considered to have permanent total disability is forced to leave the workforce, they will lose a significant source of income as well as the potential for medical benefits through their employer. It’s because of these two things that people who become permanently disabled oftentimes worry about their finances and how they will pay for their bills.
Though someone with a permanent disability may seek disability benefits through the Social Security Administration, some of our more frequent readers know that permanent total disability can also lead to workers’ compensation benefits as well as long as the injury or illness was work-related.
A person may have to exhaust all other forms of benefits prior to being considered for permanent total disability. It is especially important that an injured worker makes every attempt to return to work. In order to qualify for permanent total disability benefits in Ohio, a person must not be capable of returning to all employment. This is best accomplished by participating in a vocational program through workers’ compensation section.
When a person has reached out to the Social Security Administration for assistance in filing a claim there is also the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation.
https://ood.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/ood/individuals-with-disabilities/services/vocational-rehabilitation. This is an important resource for injured workers as well. The information gathered by the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation can be used to further support an injured worker’s attempts at returning to work. This step can prove to be crucial in whether a person will ultimately be deemed permanently & totally disabled.
Of course, as is the case with any workers’ compensation claim, an individual does have a specific period of time in which their claim must be filed. To make sure you are filing on time and are including all of the necessary information, you are encouraged to talk to a skilled lawyer.
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