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What is the Difference Between Temporary and Permanent Disability in a NY Workers’ Comp Case?

by | May 30, 2023 | Workers' Compensation

Your workers’ compensation benefits depend, in part, on how long you are expected to be incapable of working due to your injury. 

It is important to understand these terms and how they could impact your New York workers’ compensation case. 

Temporary Disability

You are temporarily disabled if you are expected to be disabled only for how long it would take you to heal your injuries. 

For example, if you work a physical job and you break your leg, you’re temporarily disabled for the six months it takes to heal that kind of severe fracture. Nevertheless, once your leg is healed, you can walk around again and return to your old job, assuming no complications. 

You can collect workers’ compensation wage benefits until you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI) and return to work. 

Permanent Disability

Permanent disability means the injury is so severe that doctors expect it to impact your ability to work for the rest of your life. You’ll be able to collect wage benefits for life. Your weekly benefits will amount to ⅔ of your former average weekly wages.

Schedule Loss of Use (SLU) Benefits

If you face permanent disability, you may also be eligible for additional SLU or scheduled loss of use benefits. These benefits pay you a certain amount of money for a certain number of weeks, depending on the body part lost and the loss percentage. 

For example, if you lose your arm, you’re eligible for 312 weeks of SLU benefits. You are paid a sum that multiplies ⅔ your average weekly wage by the number of SLU weeks and the percentage of the loss to come up with the amount. 

Temporary benefits are then deducted from your SLU awards. You may either take a lump sum or get regular workers’ compensation benefits checks until SLU runs out. 

These benefits are meant to compensate you for losing earning power from the lost body part. 

Partial vs. Total Disability

Partial disability is a disability that allows you to do some manner of work, even if it is not the same type of work you did after the accident. If you’re making less money than you made before the accident, workers’ compensation will pay ⅔ of the difference between your former average weekly wage and your current average weekly wage.

Total disability means you can’t do any work anywhere, even with accommodations. This entitles you to ⅔ of your average former weekly wage. 

Get Help Today 

Workers’ compensation cases get complicated fast and can include arguments over whether you’re “really” permanently and totally disabled or not. If you’ve received a catastrophic on-the-job injury, working closely with a workers’ compensation attorney is prudent.

Contact us to schedule a case review today. 

See also:

Why Might a Claim for Workers’ Compensation Get Denied?

Why a Lawyer Can Help You Get Workers’ Comp

When Do Construction Site Injuries Warrant a Lawsuit?