Many work injuries only have a short-term impact on how you perform your job. You will recover from a broken arm or a sprained ankle in a few weeks. With rest and adequate medical care, you will eventually be able to go back to the exact same work you did before your injury.
Unfortunately, some workers will suffer permanent injuries when they get hurt on the job. Amputations, repetitive stress injuries and traumatic brain injuries are all examples of medical conditions that could permanently alter someone’s ability to work. Even with care, these conditions could still impact someone’s strength, range of motion or safety while performing different tasks.
When you acquire one of these permanent conditions because of your employment, workers’ compensation is there to help you if you apply for the right benefits. What kind of benefits help those who cannot continue the same profession they have long enjoyed?
Permanent disability benefits help those with reduced function
Some people think that only employees completely unable to work can qualify for disability benefits. While a total inability to work is necessary for permanent total disability benefits, partial disability benefits are also possible.
Someone seeking permanent benefits will have to undergo a medical evaluation. Part of the process will be to establish the degree of disability, which the medical professional conducting the examination will express as a percentage.
The disability percentage for someone with permanent impairments will determine what benefits they can receive. They may be able to request vocational benefits that help them move into a different career. They could also receive financial benefits to supplement their reduced earning potential, and the amount of those benefits will reflect the degree of their disability.
Workers’ compensation benefits are not automatic
No matter how severe your injury is and how obvious its connection to your job may be, you will not get workers’ compensation benefits if you don’t ask for them specifically. Workers who know about the benefits available to them will have an easier time advocating for themselves when they need help because of a debilitating, permanent work-acquired medical condition.
The more you know about workers’ compensation for significant workplace injuries, the easier it will be for you to get the benefits you require.