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What exactly are permanent partial disability benefits?

Published on Jun 2, 2017 at 10:08 pm in Workers Compensation.

In a series of posts, our blog has been discussing the types of benefits to which those employees who suffer serious work-related injuries may be entitled under the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Act.

In particular, we’ve spent time discussing temporary partial disability benefits and, most recently, temporary total disability benefits. We’ll continue with this important endeavor in today’s post by taking a closer look at permanent partial disability benefits.

What are permanent partial disability benefits?   

If the work-related injuries suffered by an employee are not serious enough to leave them permanently and totally disabled — meaning unable to work in any capacity — but have nevertheless left them with some level of permanent impairment, he or she would be eligible for permanent partial disability benefits.

How much can an injured worker receive in permanent partial disability benefits?

State law dictates that injured workers eligible for permanent partial disability benefits must receive a minimum weekly compensation of $50 unless their average weekly wage was less than this amount.

In the event of the latter, the compensation awarded is equal to the average weekly wage at the time of the injury.

How long do permanent partial disability benefits last?

The timeframe in which permanent partial disability benefits are awarded depends upon the extent of the injury and the area of the body affected. To illustrate, the loss or loss of the use of the little finger merits 25 weeks of payments, while the loss or loss of the use of the thumb merits 100 weeks of payments.

There is no ability to extend these payment periods, such that permanent partial disability benefits cease once the timeframe has run.

We’ll continue this discussion in a future post, exploring permanent total disability benefits, medical benefits and wage reimbursement benefits.

Consider speaking with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible if you’ve been injured on the job and the insurance company has denied your claim for workers’ compensation benefits.

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