If you’re like many people in California who have suffered a permanent, work-related injury or health condition, you could be entitled to permanent disability benefits.
But what are permanent disability benefits, and how much are you supposed to receive?
Here’s what you need to know.
What Are Permanent Disability Benefits?
Permanent disability benefits are a type of payment that some California employees are entitled to receive. In order to qualify for them, you must have a permanent disability – but there’s no specific statute that defines what that is. Instead, it’s a disability that the courts determine is a residual effect of an injury or illness, and it must be irreversible in order to be considered permanent.
The traditional definition of permanent disability is “the irreversible residual of a work-related injury that causes impairment in earning capacity, impairment in the normal use of a member or a handicap in the open labor market.”
It’s important that you know disability isn’t the same thing as impairment. An impairment is the loss of, or the loss of use of a body part, organ system or organ function – but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the person is disabled because of the loss. If you’re dealing with a worker’s compensation case, your impairment will be evaluated by a physician and then combined with other factors to reach what’s known as a disability rating – it goes on a scale of “how disabled” you are as a result of your impairment.
A Word on Mental Health Disabilities
Mental health disabilities are covered by workers’ compensation.
What Permanent Disabilities Can You Receive Compensation For?
If your permanent disability was caused because of your job, you could be eligible for compensation. These types of disabilities can be caused by a one-time event, like an accident or some kind of toxic exposure, or they can be caused over time, such as when you get carpal tunnel from repetitive motion or you were forced to breathe toxic substances every day for a sustained period of time.
The catch is that you must show that your injury or condition is due to your job. You have to prove that when you were injured or made ill, you were performing service for your job and that you were acting in the course of your employment – and that the injury was caused by your employment and not just coincidental.
Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Your Situation?
You could be entitled to compensation for a work-related illness or injury. Your best bet is to talk to a California employment lawyer who understands what you’re going through and who can help, so call us at 818-918-3876 today.