The Difference between Permanent Partial Disability, Permanent Total Disability, and Temporary Total Disability
If you have been injured on the job in New Jersey, you may pursue benefits for your injuries through the state’s workers’ compensation system. Under state law, recovery for injuries caused by the negligence or wrongful act of your employer or a co-employee is limited to benefits available through a workers’ compensation claim. If, however, you are hurt because of the careless act of a third party, such as the driver of a vehicle, or the manufacturer of dangerous or defective equipment, you may be able to seek damages in a personal injury lawsuit as well as pursue a workers’ compensation claim.
The workers’ compensation statutes are set up to pay benefits based on the type of injury. Benefits can be temporary or permanent, and the disability caused by your injury can be partial, preventing you from performing specific tasks; or it can be total, making it impossible for you to work at all. If any injury prevents you from working temporarily you may be eligible for temporary total disability benefits. After you have been determined to have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) for the injury you may be eligible for a permanent partial or permanent total disability award.
What Is Permanent Partial Disability?
The most frequent type of workers’ compensation claim is one for a permanent partial disability (PPD). The injury is considered to be permanent when it is determined that you will never fully recover from it. It is considered to be partial when it prevents you from conducting all tasks required of your job, or from working at full capacity. Such an injury can result from a traumatic accident, or from an occupational illness.
There are a wide range of injuries and illnesses that will qualify you for PPD benefits. Some common work related permanent partial disability injuries are:
- Back injuries
- Permanent loss of vision or hearing
- Shoulder, hip, knee, elbow or other joint injury
- Amputation or loss of limb
- Repetitive stress syndrome
The amount of benefits you can receive in a PPD claim is typically based on the degree to which you injury limits your ability to work, know as your disability rating.
What Is Permanent Total Disability?
If the work related injury renders you totally permanently disabled you may be eligible for permanent total disability (PTD). In order to receive PTD benefits a person must be totally disabled and unable to return to gainful employment.
If you are totally disabled as a result of a work related accident you may be eligible for benefits for the remainder of your life.
What Is Temporary Total Disability?
You can seek temporary total disability (TTD) benefits when you are either temporarily unable to return to work because of an injury or illness, or your doctor authorizes you to return to lighter duty work, but your employer has no such work for you. Typically, you are entitled to TTD benefits until you have physically recovered and are able to return to work full time, or your employer is able to put you back to work at doctor-approved tasks.
Examples of injury or illness that can make you eligible for TTD include:
- Broken bones that make it impossible to work
- Sprains, strains or muscle pulls, particularly in your back or knees
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