As discussed in prior posts, there are unfortunately limits to the benefits you can receive in workers’ compensation. So picture a scenario where you have exhausted your temporary total disability benefits, you are not able to find or hold employment, you are not a retraining candidate and you have no more permanent partial disability benefits payable. What do you do next? The logical step is to pursue what is called “Permanent Total Disability Benefits.”
An employee is permanently totally disabled if she has sustained an injury which “totally and permanently incapacitates the employee from working at an occupation which brings the employee an income.” However, in order to do so the injuried worker must also meet a threshold rating of permanent partial disability. There are three levels of requisite permanent partial disability:
- 17 percent permanent partial disability rating of the whole body;
- the employee has a permanent partial disability rating of the whole body of at least 15 percent and the employee is at least 50 years old at the time of injury; or
- the employee has a permanent partial disability rating of the whole body of at least 13 percent and the employee is at least 55 years old at the time of the injury, and has not completed grade 12 or obtained a GED certificate.
Other factors are considered when determining if an employee is permanent totally disabled, such as the employee’s age, education, training and experience however these may only be considered in determining whether an employee is totally and permanently incapacitated after the employee meets the threshold criteria.
Even though an injured worker may not have enough permanency from “work related” injuries, non-work-related permanent partial disability ratings are also includable for purposes of establishing the ratings. Therefore, many other non-work related conditions may be used.
If you have been denied workers’ compensation benefits or need to discuss your Minnesota workers compensation case, we at the Law Office of Thomas Mottaz are workers’ compensation attorneys that help people with Minnesota work injuries anywhere in MN. Contact us for a free consultation and we will answer your questions or help you find the right lawyer for your situation.