What exactly are permanent total disability benefits?

Published on Jul 11, 2017 at 10:14 pm in Workers Compensation.

Over the last six months, our blog has dedicated a series of posts to examining how those employees who suffer an “accidental personal injury arising out of and in the course of employment” are entitled to benefits under the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Act.

Specifically, we’ve been spent time exploring temporary partial disability benefits, temporary total disability benefits and permanent partial disability benefits. We’ll conclude this discussion in today’s post by taking a closer look at permanent total disability benefits.

What are permanent total disability benefits?

Permanent total disability benefits enter the equation when workers suffer injuries leaving them unable to work in any capacity or, in simpler terms, both permanently and totally disabled.

In Maryland, the following types of injuries are considered permanently and totally disabling (absent conclusive proof demonstrating otherwise):

  • The loss of use or the loss of the following: both hands, both arms, both feet, both legs or both eyes
  • The loss of use or the loss of a combination of any two of the following: hand, arm, foot, leg or eye

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

State law provides that workers eligible for permanent total disability benefits are entitled to compensation equaling two-thirds of his or her average weekly wage (subject to a maximum weekly payment equivalent to the State’s average weekly wage).

What about cost of living adjustments?

Permanent total disability benefits are subject to an annual cost of living adjustment that cannot exceed 5 percent, and which is otherwise determined by the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

It’s also worth noting that if an injured worker is also entitled to Social Security disability benefits, their permanent total disability benefits may be reduced to the extent necessary to prevent any decrease in these federal benefits.

We’ll continue this discussion in a future post, switching gears to explore medical benefits and wage reimbursement benefits.

As always, if you’ve been injured on the job and the insurance company has denied your claim for workers’ compensation benefits, consider speaking with a skilled legal professional as soon as possible.



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