Thursday, September 9, 2010

MN Work Comp and Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) Benefits

Permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits are payable for the permanent functional loss of use of a body part due to a work-related injury.

Once you have reached Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI), if you have a permanent injury, your doctor may assign you what is known as a permanency rating. This is stated as a percentage. For example, following recovery from a back surgery, your doctor may indicate that you’ve sustained permanent partial disability of 12% to the body as a whole.

This percentage is then multiplied by a dollar amount, which is set by the legislature. The higher your permanency percentage, the higher the dollar amount used for purposes of calculating the amount of permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits you are owed.

Permanency (PPD) benefits are payable on the same schedule that you had received temporary total disability (TTD) benefits, or at the same time that you receive temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits.

If your doctor has indicated that you have reached Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI), but doesn’t specify your PPD rating, the workers’ compensation insurer is supposed to request an assessment of PPD from your doctor.

If everyone agrees as to the amount of your PPD benefit, the insurer is supposed to make a minimum lump sum payment or begin periodic payments. If there is a disagreement as to the correct amount of your permanency benefit, the insurer is still supposed to make at least a minimum lump sum payment or begin periodic payments, at least to the extent of the undisputed benefit.

You have the right to request permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits be paid to you as a lump sum, as opposed to being paid these benefits on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Keep in mind that if you request a lump sum payment, the insurer can discount the lump sum by up to 5 percent of the present value.

Under Minnesota workers’ compensation law, permanent disabilities are rated according to a set of rules known as the Permanent Partial Disability Schedules. Each injury is rated according to the body part involved, and the type of impairment affecting that body part.

As you can imagine, even on a case where a workers’ compensation insurer admits responsibility for your work injury, there is a lot of room for dispute as to the amount of permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits you are entitled to.

For example, the insurer may try to reduce your PPD rating by suggesting that part of your injury is pre-existing, they may suggest that your doctor’s rating is too high and that a lower rating applies, they may suggest that your injury is not actually permanent, or they may improperly combine ratings if you have multiple body parts that are injured, or they may just simply never pay you PPD if your doctor does not complete a healthcare provider report specifically assigning you a permanency rating.

If you have a permanent injury, make sure you get all the workers’ compensation benefits you are entitled to. Contact Meuser & Associates at 877-746-5680 for a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our workers’ compensation lawyers, or click here to send us an email.

Visit Minnesota Workers' Compensation and Personal Injury Law Firm, Meuser & Associates, P.A., at
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