If you have sustained a workplace injury, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Understandably, you are likely wondering what type of benefits you are eligible for.
North Carolina workers’ compensation laws establish the various kinds of benefits workers can receive. There are four main categories of disability benefits, including permanent total disability workers’ compensation.
To better understand what type of North Carolina workers’ compensation benefits you should be seeking, speak with a Board Certified Workers’ Compensation specialist at Mehta & McConnell, PLLC.
Under workers’ compensation laws in North Carolina, the term disability refers to the inability to earn your regular wages due to a work-related injury rather than the physical injury itself.
Here is a look at the four different types of workers’ disabilities in North Carolina.
Temporary Total Disability
Temporary total disability benefits (TTD) are what you should receive if you cannot work for more than seven days. Essentially, the first seven days are without benefits.
The seven days do not necessarily have to be consecutive, but they must be days you would have otherwise worked.
If you qualify for temporary total disability benefits, you will receive approximately two-thirds of your average weekly wage, not to exceed $1,102.00 (2021 maximum).
If your disability lasts more than 21 days, you could be eligible to receive retroactive benefits for the first seven days of work missed.
Temporary Partial Disability
Temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits can provide the difference in what you made before your injury and what you can earn during your recovery.
This type of workers’ compensation disability is available if you cannot perform the same amount of work or you are temporarily in a different lower-paying position while you recover.
If you receive TTD benefits while unable to work, you usually can receive TPD benefits once you return if you meet the criteria. Note, the same seven-day waiting period still applies.
Permanent Partial Disability
Permanent partial disability (PPD) is reserved for employees who sustain permanent damage to a portion of their body or their senses. You can continue to work; however, your injury permanently reduces your capacity to work.
At some point during your recovery, your doctor will declare you have reached maximum medical improvement or MMI.
This means you have recovered as much as the doctor expects you to. If you have permanent damage, the doctor will assign a permanent impairment rating.
You should not sign the form and agree to their rating without a second opinion. It’s also best to speak with a North Carolina workers’ compensation attorney to ensure you get the highest rating you are entitled to receive.
Permanent Total Disability
If your injuries prevent you from working at all once you reach MMI, you could receive permanent total disability (PTD).
These benefits are reserved for injuries that reduce your overall quality of life and prevent you from working at all.
These types of injuries can continue to deteriorate, resulting in new conditions. There are strict requirements you must meet before receiving PTD compensation.
One of the four following conditions must exist:
- You sustained a spinal injury that resulted in paralysis of your upper, lower, trunk, or entire body;
- You lost a combination of two of the following: feet, legs, hands, arms, and eyes;
- You sustained second- or third-degree burns to a minimum of one-third of your body; or
- You sustained a severe head injury or brain damage that resulted in permanent damage.
The amount of compensation will depend on what part of your body is injured, along with your assigned impairment rating. There is a schedule that lists the maximum number of weeks for each body part and your senses.
Contact a North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you suffered a workplace injury in North Carolina, you don’t have to navigate the workers’ compensation system alone. Let our board-certified workers’ compensation lawyers help.
The skilled legal team at Mehta & McConnell, PLLC will be there with you every step of the process. Our priority is to ensure you receive the maximum benefits possible.
To learn more about how we can assist you, contact our office today.