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Permanent Disability

Are you seeking workers’ compensation benefits for a permanent disability you sustained while at work? Find a disability lawyer who will fight to get you the benefits you deserve.

At some point during your workers’ compensation claim, a doctor will tell you that you have reached Maximum Medical Improvement, meaning your condition has improved as much as it can, and will assign permanent restrictions and what is called a Permanent Partial Disability Rating (PPD). This rating is a means of creating monetary compensation for the partial loss of the use of your injured body part.

The extent of permanent impairment, sometimes referred to as the employee’s “rating,” is based upon the opinion of a physician and determined using the rating guide published by the North Carolina Industrial Commission.

What are the Permanent Partial Disability Ratings?

The NC Workers’ Compensation Act has a “schedule of injuries” that assigns a value to all of your body parts. The value assigned is for 100% loss of that body part.

Schedule of Benefits

The schedule of benefits for 100% impairment of various body parts is as follows:

  • Back – 300 weeks
  • Arm – 240 weeks
  • Hand – 200 weeks
  • Foot – 144 weeks
  • Leg – 200 weeks
  • Eye – 120 weeks
  • Thumb – 75 weeks
  • First or index finger – 45 weeks
  • Second or middle finger – 40 weeks
  • Third or ring finger – 25 weeks
  • Fourth or little finger – 20 weeks
  • Hearing (one ear) – 70 weeks
  • Hearing (both ears) – 150 weeks
  • Big toe – 35 weeks
  • Any other toe – 10 weeks

For example, 100% loss of the use of your arm is worth 240 weeks of benefits at your weekly rate. If you have an injury where you regain 90% use of your arm, but still have restrictions and limitations, the doctor would assign a 10% PPD rating and you could elect to receive 10% of 240 weeks or 24 weeks of additional compensation for your injury.

How will you know if you’re receiving all the benefits owed to you?

Many times, there are honest differences of opinion among physicians concerning the nature and extent of the worker’s impairment. If you are dissatisfied with the rating given to you by a doctor, you’re entitled to a second opinion by the doctor of your choosing. Your employer and/or the insurance company is responsible for paying the entire cost of the second opinion.

It is very important to note that this is an election of benefits. Many times a carrier will send a NC Industrial Commission Form 26A to a worker that pays out the PPD, but they will not explain that there may be other better benefits that an injured worker may be entitled to receive.

Protect your rights

Not only will signing a Form 26A impact your case financially, it can also impact your rights regarding future medical and rehabilitative care. If you receive a Form 26, 26A, or Form 21 in the mail, DO NOT sign it until you find a workers’ compensation lawyer  and arrange for him or her to review your case and explain your rights.

We had a case where the client came in with a 26A and an offer from her employer to pay approximately $12,000 for her rating. Over eight weeks, we negotiated her case and reached a settlement of $75,000 and an additional $56,000 for her future medical needs.”
– Attorney Jesse Shapiro

How does it benefit you to find a disability lawyer?

The workers’ compensation attorneys at Wilson, Reives, Silverman & Doran have extensive experience with negotiating settlements and protecting the rights of injured workers. While your carrier may want to just simply give you a PPD rating, you may be entitled to much more.

It will not cost you anything to come in for a consultation. At Wilson, Reives, Silverman & Doran, all consultations for workers’ compensation cases are given free of charge.

We Are Committed to Your Security

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