Long-Term Disability From Work-Related Injuries

Have you been left with a long-term disability due to a work accident? Let us help you fight for the compensation you deserve. 

Explore the complexities of long-term disability from work-related injuries with Dressie Law Firm. Understand your rights, legal options, and how we can assist in securing the benefits you deserve.

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Navigating Long-Term Disability Claims for Work-Related Injuries

Work accidents often lead to severe complications for those involved. In many cases, the victims are left with permanent or long-term disabilities that could affect their ability to work and earn a living for long periods or the rest of their lives. 

Luckily, there is an established workers’ compensation insurance system that allows injured workers to receive monetary support to take care of their medical expenses and lost wages to help them survive after a work injury. If you are dealing with such a long-term disability due to a work injury, you may also get long-term disability benefits if you subscribe to a long-term disability insurance plan.

 But the question remains: can you get both workers’ compensation and long-term disability benefits, or does one cancel out the other?

Our team of experienced lawyers at the Dressie Law Firm is committed to helping clients obtain compensation for their occupational injuries and disabilities. Below, we discuss the compensation system for long-term disabilities due to work accidents to help you understand your rights and take the necessary steps to maximize the amount you can get.

Please read on to learn more.

    What Is Long-Term Disability? 

    Long-term disability is any severe impairment that prevents an employee from working or adversely affects their earning capacity for an extended period, usually months or years. This level of disability is usually caused by work-related Construction Accidents or dangerous work conditions.

    It is not restricted to the loss of a bodily function or a body part, such as an amputation, vision, or hearing loss. But it could include any illness or conditions that make your previous work schedule unbearable or impossible, such as 

    • Breathing difficulties or other respiratory conditions 

    •  Herniated discs 

    • Chronic back pain and other back injuries

    • Concussions.

    The critical point here is not the nature of the disability but how long the disability lasts and the extent to which it affects your ability to earn a living. 

      Getting Compensation: Options for Workers Living With Long-Term Disabilities Due to Work Injuries

      Workers Compensation Disability Benefits 

      Because your disability is work-related, you may qualify for disability benefits under the Workers’ Compensation system. This happens if you are assigned a disability rating during or after completing treatment by an approved physician. 

      There are four categories of disability ratings as follows:

      Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)

      Permanent partial disability occurs when the injured worker has suffered permanent bodily damage, such as losing a body part. 

      Although this type of disability may not stop the injured worker from earning a living, it could affect the roles in which they can function and, consequently, their income.

      If you are dealing with a PPD, you are entitled to weekly income benefits amounting to two-thirds of your average weekly salary (subject to a statutory weekly limit of $800) for a specific number of weeks, depending on the affected body part.

      However, you may not get PPD benefits if you are entitled to other disability benefits under the workers’ compensation law.

      Temporary Partial Disability (TPD)

      temporary partial disability rating is assigned to injured workers who can work in a less demanding capacity than their previous role.

      Because of their condition, such workers may suffer decreased wages. Hence, they are entitled to disability benefits to compensate for the difference between their current and previous earnings. However, the payment must be, at most, $534 per week and will only be paid for 350 weeks (beginning from the date of the injury).

      Temporary Total Disability (TTD)

      Workers who cannot work for at least seven days due to their work injuries may qualify for temporary total disability benefits. The amount to be paid to the injured employee is two-thirds of their weekly wages but at most $800 per week for 400 weeks (beginning from the date of the injury).

      However, if the injury is catastrophic, the weekly benefit shall be paid until the worker’s condition changes for the better.

      Examples of catastrophic injuries include:

      • Spinal cord injuries involving severe paralysis

      • Amputation of a body part

      • Second/third-degree burns over 25 percent of the body

      • Total or industrial blindness

      • Severe brain injuries.

      Permanent Total Disability (PTD) 

      A PTD rating means that the affected worker’s condition and inability to work can never improve. This rating is usually assigned in cases involving;

      •  Permanent total vision loss in both eyes

      • Loss of both arms, hands, legs, feet, or other similar body parts.

      Permanent disability benefits may be paid for life or until there is a positive change in condition at the same rates for TTD.

      Private Long-Term Disability Insurance

      Long-term disability insurance is a private insurance policy that can help injured workers assess disability benefits after their accident. They are paid until the injured worker is no longer disabled or reaches the age of 65.

      The insurance may be paid for by the employer, the employee, or both. If the employer pays fully, coverage is usually automatic once the employee is hired. However, if the system is structured to deduct payments from the employee, interested employees would need to opt in for the policy to get coverage. The rate paid after an injury is usually 60 percent of the injured worker’s monthly wage.

      To get long-term disability insurance benefits, you’ll need to follow the claim filing instructions provided by your employer and the insurance company. The insurance company will assess your claim and make the necessary payments.

      Will Receiving Long-Term Disability Benefits Affect Your Workers’ Compensation Claim?

      Ordinarily, your long-term disability claim should not affect your workers’ compensation claim and vice versa. However, in certain cases, your employer’s workers’ compensation provider may be entitled by law to recover a portion of your disability insurance payments. Generally, this happens if

      • The employer funds a part or the entire long-term disability insurance policy

      • The employee is entitled to or has received payments for disability benefits under the workers’ compensation law.

      In such cases, the employer or their insurance company may recover or deduct the amount paid under the insurance policy from the workers’ compensation amount to avoid double payment by the employer, thereby reducing the amount of workers’ comp benefits you can get.

      You may be entitled to other public benefits, such as Social Security disability benefits. Such benefits could also affect your workers’ comp claim and disability insurance. If you intend to claim them, it is important that you consult a personal injury attorney who can help you understand the implications of each benefit on the other and how you can maximize the available benefits for the best possible outcome.

      Contact the Dressie Law Firm for Help Accessing Your Long-Term Disability Benefits After a Work Accident 

      Getting compensation for your work-related long-term disability could be complicated, given the different types of benefits that are available. The wrong move could deprive you of portions of the compensation you ought to get. That’s why it is important to seek legal counsel and help to navigate the compensation process.

      At the Dressie Law Firm, we understand how the benefits landscape for long-term disability works and how each benefit interacts with the others. We can offer personalized legal guidance and representation based on our extensive Personal Injury Law experience and work with you toward a positive outcome.

      Contact us today to learn your options for your case and get started with the process.

      The Dressie Law Firm Can Help You

      If you or a loved one is a victim of a reckless or negligent driver, we want you to know that the law is on your side and so is the Dressie Law Firm.

      Contact us today to schedule your free consultation!