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Stratford Workers' Compensation Lawyer > Blog > Workers' Compensation > What is My Permanent Partial Disability Award? Maximizing Your Penultimate Benefit in Connecticut Claims – An Explainer

What is My Permanent Partial Disability Award? Maximizing Your Penultimate Benefit in Connecticut Claims – An Explainer


When you’re injured at work, it can be overwhelming to navigate the workers’ compensation system. One of the most challenging parts of this process can be determining what kind of benefits you’re entitled to receive. The ultimate award in Connecticut workers’ compensation claims by law is that of permanent partial disability” or typically abbreviated to “PPD” benefits.

A treating physician or surgeon that has addressed the medical care for the injured worker typically assigns an impairment rating approximately one year post injury or following a surgical procedure.  A rating is usually assigned once the treating physician has agreed that the patient has reached “maximum medical improvement.” Essentially, this means that the injured worker has plateaued in their recovery, and it is unlikely that their condition will significantly improve in the future.  This assessment is noted in percentage format (e.g. 10% loss of use of the lumbar spine) and is made for each body part subject to the work injury. The treating physician or specialist makes this rating at an evaluation and often relies on a particular medical guideline (i.e. AMA Guidelines) to formulate the rating.

One nuance in Connecticut law for permanent partial disability ratings – until all affected body parts have been assigned an impairment, the category of benefits reflecting the award cannot officially commence. The injured worker must attain “maximum medical improvement” for his or her affected body parts injured by way of the work accident in order for permanent partial disability benefits to start on a weekly basis from the responsible workers’ compensation insurance carrier.

The particular rating, or percentage of permanent impairment, translates to a certain number of weeks based on the relevant workers’ compensation statute, or set of laws.  These weeks are typically paid weekly at the injured worker’s base compensation rate. There are certain limited circumstances when the award for permanent partial disability is paid in full. This is called a “commutation” of benefits and is paid in lump sum fashion on the condition that the presiding Administrative Law Judge confirms financial need of the injured worker.

An award of permanent partial disability is not a full and final settlement of one’s claim. In a full and final settlement, the injured worker agrees to accept a lump sum payment instead of ongoing benefits. The permanent partial disability assessment is utilized to address the value of a workers’ compensation claim should the claim be ripe for a full and final settlement.

A skilled or expert attorney is in the best position to address the distinctions between an injured worker’s permanent partial disability award and the potential value of a full and final settlement of the claim. A legal advocate is also skilled in working with your physician to obtain a permanent partial disability rating and then communicating with the insurance company or their attorney about maximizing your entitlement to the award or eventual settlement.

In Summary:

Navigating the workers’ compensation system can be a daunting task, but understanding the different types of benefits that may be available to you can help make the process a little bit easier. Permanent partial disability benefits are awarded to injured workers who have suffered a permanent impairment.  Full and final settlements may incorporate a portion or the entirety of a permanent partial disability award.  If you’re unsure to what extent you should be paid permanent partial disability benefits in your claim, it’s always intelligent to consult with an expert and experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can guide you through the process.

Contact Morizio Law Firm at 475-338-3505 – Connecticut’s Board-Certified Workers’ Compensation Specialist Attorneys

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