Under New York workers’ compensation, you’re considered disabled whenever your injuries make returning to your usual job impossible.
There are four classes of disability, and each class impacts how you receive benefits and for how long.
Temporary Total Disability
Temporary total disability covers times when you are injured to the point where you cannot work and earn wages but are expected to return to work. Most workers’ compensation cases are temporary total disability cases.
Even if you are disabled for life, your disability will be classified as a “temporary” total disability at first. Later, your doctor may find your disabilities to be permanent.
Temporary Partial Disability
Temporary partial disability covers times when you are injured enough that your work is hampered, but you can still perform some duties. It also covers times when you earn less wages due to your reduced ability to work.
The percentage of your disability is calculated into your weekly benefit, and you receive a smaller weekly benefit than you would if you were totally disabled.
Permanent Total Disability
Permanent total disability covers times when your wage-earning capacity is lost for good. This payout can be given for life.
As you might imagine, insurance companies often resist allowing someone to claim permanent total disability, even when the claim is 100% fair. Many who are facing total disability will need help from a qualified workers’ compensation attorney.
Permanent Partial Disability
This classification of disability covers instances where only a portion of your wage-earning capacity has been permanently lost, based on the body part affected. You may earn Scheduled Loss of Use benefits for extremities or non-schedule losses for losing the capacity of your spine, pelvis, lungs, heart, or brain.
These benefits are payable for a certain number of weeks based on the loss percentage. Often, the benefits are paid out as a lump sum.
Insurance companies will often push back on these benefits, too, and will often claim your loss percentage is much lower than it actually is. In such cases, you’d need a firm like ours to help you maximize your award.
Get Help Today
Workers’ compensation law is extremely complex. And while you might hope and expect that both your employer and the workers’ compensation company would do the right thing and support you, the truth is often quite a bit darker.
If you need help, don’t hesitate to call us. Contact us to schedule a free consultation today.