If you sustained an injury on the job in California and your recovery is not going as well as you hoped, you may be considering the possibility of permanent disability benefits.
Here are the answers to a few frequently asked questions about permanent disability through California workers’ compensation.
Who determines permanent disability eligibility?
Your doctor is responsible for determining if your injury warrants awarding permanent disability. The doctor might use the terms “maximum medical improvement” or “permanent and stationary” to describe your situation if your condition has improved as much as possible and the injury is still severe enough for disability benefits. If the doctor determines that your condition is P&S or in a state of MMI, they will send their findings to the claim administrator.
What if I disagree with the findings?
If you disagree with the doctor’s findings, you can request an appointment with a qualified medical evaluator approved by the Department of Workers’ Compensation. You must select a QME from the DWC list and make an appointment within ten days. Otherwise, the claims administrator may choose the QME for you.
How much will I receive if I am eligible?
California pre-calculates permanent disability rates. The claims administrator will examine several factors to determine the amount you are eligible to receive. These factors include:
- When the injury occurred
- Your disability percentage
- Your pre-injury wages
Lost wages and ongoing care costs following a workplace injury can increase stress in an already trying situation. For this reason, it is essential to maximize your workers’ compensation disability benefits.