Victims of workplace injury and illness in Ohio face more than the physical pain related to their medical condition. They usually need ongoing medical attention and may lose wages from time off work. Sadly, for some victims, even the best medical care might not lead to a full recovery. These people may face lifelong disabilities and may not be able to work in the same capacity they did before.
Permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits through the Ohio workers’ compensation system are designed to help such victims. This benefit is for workers who have a permanent impairment that does not leave them totally disabled but impedes their ability to work.
Although workers’ compensation is set up to help workers, the claims process can be full of red tape and difficult to understand, especially in cases of permanent partial disability. Victims are usually already overwhelmed in coping with their permanent medical condition. Having to file a claim and gather supporting documentation, then possibly go through an objection process if the claim is denied, can compound a victim’s hardship. What’s more, if not filed properly, a claim can be denied and the benefits to which you should be entitled can be lost.
The experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Plevin & Gallucci can represent your PPD claim and help secure the full compensation you are due. We have built our practice on helping injured Ohio workers and we will use our expertise to help you.
What is permanent partial disability?
If you suffer a work-related injury or an occupational disease that causes permanent damage to a part of your body, you may be eligible for PPD benefits. PPD often involves the loss or partial loss of an extremity (such as a foot, leg, arm, hand, or finger), although many other medical conditions can qualify for PPD benefits. This compensation can be awarded for physical or psychological conditions.
Unlike total permanent disability (TTD), you do not have to be completely disabled or unable to work to receive PPD benefits.
Ohio Permanent Partial Disability Calculation
Other types of workers’ compensation payments must end before an injured worker can file for PPD. Benefits are calculated based on the percentage of the worker’s impairment caused by the work-related injury or occupational disease. This is a percentage of a whole person impairment.
To better understand this concept, a 100% impairment would be total incapacitation. A comatose person on a respirator would be at a 100% impairment. Essentially, in a PPD situation, the higher the percentage of impairment, the greater the benefit.
To apply for PPD benefits, the injured worker must file an Application for Determination of the Percentage of Permanent Partial Disability or Increase of Permanent Partial Disability (C-92) with the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC). These forms may be filed:
- 26 weeks after receiving the last award for temporary total or wage loss; or,
- 26 weeks from the date of injury or date of contracting an occupational disease, if compensation is not paid.
After filing the forms, the injured worker will undergo a medical examination to determine the percentage of the disability. There is a statewide network of independent physicians who perform these exams. Based on the findings of the medical exam report, the BWC will issue a tentative order on the percentage of disability awarded. The injured worker and the employer have 20 days from receiving the order to object. If no objection is filed, the order becomes effective.
Ohio PPD Benefit Eligibility
If you suffer a permanent impairment after being injured at work or falling ill from conditions at work, you may be eligible for PPD benefits.
An example of a worker eligible for PPD might be a construction worker who has lost a finger during an on-the-job accident and been told by a doctor that heavy lifting should be permanently avoided. Since this is a job restriction due to a work-related injury, the construction worker may be eligible for PPD benefits.
PPD can be awarded due to a wide range of medical conditions, such as:
- Loss of a limb;
- Vision loss in one eye;
- Hearing loss;
- Back injury;
- Knee injury;
- Nerve damage;
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Permanent Partial Disability Ohio FAQs
What happens after I file an objection?
The objection will be heard by the Industrial Commission of Ohio (IC). The IC will make a ruling based on the medical evidence presented. The IC may agree with, increase, or decrease the benefits previously awarded. Either party may request a reconsideration of the initial ruling. The IC will hear the reconsideration request and make a final decision. The decision on the reconsideration cannot be further appealed. Throughout the objection process, the BWC will not pay PPC benefits until the IC issues a final decision.
What happens if I file a request for an increase with the BWC?
The BWC forwards the request for an increase (C-92) and the supporting documents to the worker’s employer. The bureau will review the medical file before processing payment for an increase request. In some instances, the BWC may schedule a medical examination. This typically happens with highly complex injuries or when another condition has been allowed as part of the claim. It is important to include any and all relevant documents in support of your increase request. In fact, the BWC will dismiss a C-92 application that does not include supporting documentation.
Get Help with Your PPD Workers Comp Benefits
Plevin & Gallucci has a proven record of winning workers’ compensation claims for injured victims in Ohio. Don’t take a chance on your future. Contact us today to find out how we can use our decades of legal experience to help you get the compensation you deserve.