A workplace injury can put you off your feet for some time, but often workers return to their usual position after a bit of downtime at home. Unfortunately, however, there is a class of workers that are forever changed by a work-related injury or illness and they may need to make some adjustments in the way they earn income. To find out more about what might be in store for those with partial disabilities, read on.

Moving Forward With Benefits

If it's become apparent that you are afflicted with a permanent injury, the workers' compensation insurance carrier may ask you to undergo a special medical exam. This exam tells the carrier more about your condition and helps to determine what benefits you can expect in the future. For permanent injuries, the level of your impairment will be determined using a percentage. This determination involves a thorough physical exam and takes into consideration your previous job duties. For example, if you were a computer operator and you are afflicted with carpal tunnel syndrome, you may not be able to perform at that job again regardless of corrective surgery. You might, however, be able to take on other career roles that don't involve too much use of your hands and wrists. For example, you might find a new career training others, giving lectures, being a supervisor, etc. With an injury involving two extremities, you might be deemed to be 75% disabled, though the actual percentage number is based on your exact condition and your ability to train for or perform at other jobs.

Time for a Settlement

The determination of the percentage of disability will usually result in a change in benefits. You may have been receiving partial disability payments from your job and those payments will now cease. Permanent disabilities, even partial disabilities, will result in a settlement offer by the insurer. All settlements are based on several factors, so a partial disability might be based on:

  • The work you are still able to do.
  • The changes in salary to be expected due to the disability. For example, a partial disability might mean you are only able to do light duty or part-time work. The settlement then would take into account how much income you are losing because of that change.
  • Your age and education level.

When it comes time to discuss a settlement, consider consulting a workers' comp attorney for help. The level of benefits you receive can have a huge impact on your quality of life going forward. You must have a settlement that takes into consideration your ability to qualify for Social Security, that covers future medical needs, and that is structured in the best way for financial security. Don't leave this vital task up to your own skills, speak to a workers' comp firm, like Bishop Dorfman Kroupa & Bishop PC, about your case today.