When do workers qualify for permanent partial disability?

On-the-job injuries are common, and most of them aren’t very serious. Many New Jersey workers’ compensation claims only ever involve basic medical benefits. However, sometimes workplace incidents have far more serious consequences for an affected employee. They may have broken a bone, developed a repetitive stress injury or suffered a concussion.

There are many medical conditions that people may develop because of their employment that can have a long-term impact on their ability to continue working. Workers may need medical benefits for surgery and other intensive care. They will also need disability benefits to pay their basic expenses. In some cases, workers with lingering symptoms may qualify for permanent partial disability benefits even when their medical treatment ends.

Who determines a worker’s eligibility?

The physician overseeing a worker’s care plays a very important role in a worker’s compensation claim. They determine what, if any, restrictions a worker may have on their work functions. They also decide when a worker has sufficiently recovered to return to their job and what accommodations they will need to do so.

If a worker has reached a point where they are unlikely to significantly improve with future treatment, the doctor overseeing their care may determine that they have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). At that point, the worker’s right to treatment-related medical benefits may end. However, if they still have limitations that will affect what they can do on the job, then they may qualify for permanent partial disability benefits. The total value of those benefits will depend on the body part affected and the degree of impairment caused by someone’s lasting symptoms.

Permanent partial disability benefits can make a big difference for workers who have lingering medical limitations because of an injury suffered on the job or a medical condition acquired through someone’s employment. Workers who struggle to continue earning as much as they once did may need to talk openly with their physicians so that they can connect with the right benefits.

Learning more about workers’ compensation benefits in New Jersey may help those recovering from a recent incident on the job to pursue any and all rightful compensation to which they may be entitled.

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