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How Does Permanent Partial Disability Affect Workers’ Comp Benefits?

If your work accident resulted in permanent partial disabilities (PPD), you may need to deal with lifelong difficulties that affect your ability to find work. Thankfully, New York’s workers’ comp benefits are there to give you the help you need. This guide gives you an overview of how the workers’ compensation board evaluates PPD and what you’re eligible for after you file your claim.

Understanding Permanent Partial Disability

Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) occurs when your partial injury permanently affects your income or stops you from finding work. PPDs can vary greatly depending on your injury and accident’s details. Common examples of PPD among workers include:

  • Chronic Back Injuries: Persistent pain and limited movement in your back will affect your ability to perform physical tasks.
  • Loss of Limb Functionality: Includes partial or total loss of use of limbs that can hinder the performance of job-specific duties.
  • Hearing Loss: This happens in industries with high noise exposure, affecting communication and job performance.
  • Repetitive Strain Injuries: If you use a specific body part over time, you may develop chronic medical conditions that prevent you from using it.
  • Respiratory Diseases: Chronic conditions due to exposure to toxic chemicals.

New York Workers’ Comp Benefits for PPD

New York State provides specific provisions for workers suffering from a PPD that try to compensate for your loss of wages and cover medical treatments. Depending on your condition, there are two main types of benefits you can qualify for:

Schedule Loss of Use (SLU)

SLU benefits are awarded if you lose function in a specific listed body part,  including:

  • Ears
  • Ankles
  • Hands
  • Knees
  • Toes
  • Arms
  • Eyes
  • Legs

The amount and duration of SLU benefits you receive varies based on the percentage of disability assigned to your injury, multiplied by a set number of weeks specified for each body part in the state’s law. For example, if you suffered a 50% loss of use in your hand, and the schedule gives you 244 weeks for total loss, you’d receive benefits for 122 weeks.

Non-Schedule Loss

Non-schedule awards, on the other hand, are for workers who suffer from permanent impairments or body parts not covered by SLU benefits, including the following:

  • Pelvis
  • Spine
  • Lungs
  • Brain
  • Heart

These benefits are calculated based on your residual functional capacity and the disability’s impact on your ability to earn a living compared to before the accident. The WBC will pay you these benefits for a specific period that reflects the condition’s severity and effect on your earning capacity.

Who Determines If You Have Partial Disability?

A qualified medical provider typically assesses whether a worker has a permanent partial disability. They’ll evaluate the extent of the injuries and the impact on your ability to make a living. This medical report is crucial as it’s one of the most critical pieces of evidence the workers’ comp board uses to evaluate your claim.

Win The Benefits You Deserve

Claiming workers’ comp benefits for permanent partial disabilities can be challenging without professional help. Our experienced New York workers’ compensation attorneys will guide you through every step of the process and ensure you win the full benefits you deserve. If you have any questions or want to schedule a free consultation, please contact us online or at 855-208-7852 today.

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