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The Basics on Permanent Disability and Workers' Compensation

The Basics on Permanent Disability and Workers' Compensation

The Basics on Permanent Disability and Workers' Compensation

In California in you've been injured or catch a disease while on the job, you may be entitled to a permanent disability award if you don’t fully recover. There are many elements that have to be legally considered before you can make a claim to what you’re entitled to. Lawyers can provide you with assistance in making a claim to get you to access your benefits.

Here’s some basic knowledge you will need to understand in order to open a case and qualify for permanent disability benefits.

Being Eligible for Permanent Disability Benefits

When you get injured, you initially get temporary disability benefits to compensate for all the medical costs. However, when recovery seems a little dim, the doctor in charge should assess the ailments you’re enduring and write a report to reflect the state of your condition. They should be able to determine whether you could get better or not.

You'll have to go through a medical and legal process to demonstrate that your medical condition isn't likely to change and that it either prevents you from working at all or limits your ability to work and earn money.

If you cannot fully recover in a period of time, you may be entitled to the permanent disability benefits.

Two Kinds of Permanent Disabilities

A total permanent disability isn’t common, but it’s possible if you have irreversible injuries or illnesses. In California, you generally won't be considered for permanent disability benefits until your treating doctor says you've reached a plateau in your recovery—meaning that your condition isn't expected to improve further with more treatment, at least in the near future.

This is sometimes referred to as “maximal medical improvement” (MMI), or “permanent and stationary.”

The amount of time it takes to reach MMI can vary widely—anywhere from a month to a few years after you were first hurt or became ill. The nature of your injury or illness will have the biggest impact on how long it takes. Even if you don't completely heal from a broken leg—for instance, if you continue to have trouble walking on uneven surfaces—your condition will probably stabilize more quickly than if you got cancer from on-the-job exposure to toxic chemicals.

There are also other factors that can play a role too, including the medical treatments that are available and whether the insurance company has been dragging its feet on approving surgeries or other expensive procedures

Your medical information will help decide if your permanent disabilities affect your ability to perform certain tasks—or even to work at all. This process is what's called a permanent disability rating, expressed in a percentage.

You don't necessarily have to prove that you can't work at all in order to receive total permanent disability benefits. For instance, you may be considered totally and permanently disabled if you have certain kinds of injuries (for instance, if you lost both eyes or both legs). You may also qualify if you have a combination of permanent impairments that add up to a 100% disability rating.

If your disability rating is less than 100%, you may be able to receive some kind of partial permanent disability benefits

Depending on your PD rating, you may get partial permanent disability benefits that are a little more flexible. The payments will be decided on the percentage of your PD rating.


The PD Rating process can be a hindrance when determining your eligibility for permanent disability benefits. Be sure to work with a legal professional who can help you negotiate and settle this case to access what you deserve.

Pacific Workers' has a team of workers’ compensation attorneys in Oakland, Tracy, Concord, Sacramento, San Jose and Stockton that are ready to legally assist you in your case. Get in touch with us today at (800) 606 6999 for a free consultation.

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