Permanent Partial DisabilityWhen a worker faces a serious workplace injury during their routine work, the result could be months- or even years-long medical treatment. When the physicians or doctors have tried every possible treatment to return the individual to their pre-injured condition, the employee is said to have recovered to the fullest possible extent, reaching their maximum medical improvement (MMI). In the case the employee never manages to recover to the same level of productivity and ability as they possessed prior to the accident, they’re typically entitled to permanent partial disability, a type of workers’ compensation benefit. The BLS reports that for every 100 full-time workers, 3.4 worker's compensation claims are filed in the US. Let’s dig deeper into the concept of permanent partial disability (PPD):
Definition of PPDIf you suffered a work injury but cannot fully recover, and your condition prevents you from taking good care of yourself or perform your job duties, you’re said to have a PPD. The most confusing aspect about PPD is that it goes by so many names. Although it stands for “permanent partial disability,” some of the other terms include permanency rating, 97-31 benefits, perm partial, and impairment rating. Since most workers who face severe injuries rarely make a full recovery, so their doctor assigns a number to the extent to which the affected body part may face permanent problems. This number is referred to as the PPD rating expressed as a percentage. For example, the doctor might say "15 percent PPD to the arm". This proportion is then entered into a mathematical formula that also includes your pre-injury wages, the result of which shows how much the employee is owed in PPD benefits.
The Illinois PPD LawUnder Illinois worker's compensation law, employers are supposed to pay PPD benefits to employees sustaining work-related injuries and, in turn, suffer from physical impairment, disfigurement, or amputation but are able to carry out some duties. Those who become permanently disabled and cannot work at all are entitled to permanent total disability (PTD) benefits. Once an injured worker files their worker's compensation claim and gets accepted by the state, they receive PPD benefits either in the form of installments or as a lump sum payment, based on their personal choice. In the case that the employee opts for installments, they'll be paid until they reach the age of 70. Lump-sum payout, on the other hand, is subject to certain restrictions.
Common Types of Injuries that Result in PPDAccording to the US Department of labor, construction is the most dangerous industry for workers. A wide range of medical conditions can result in a PPD. The most common conditions include:
- Hearing loss
- Knee injury
- Loss of vision in one eye
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Nerve damage
- Amputation of a hand, a finger, or any other body part