Permanent partial disability benefits are one of several types of benefits that are available in Georgia workers compensation cases. Other common types of benefits include:
- Wage loss benefits (temporary total disability benefits and temporary partial disability benefits), and
- Medical benefits
Many people have questions when they receive a permanent partial disability rating or start receiving permanent partial disability benefits. They wonder whether they will receive a settlement or whether their case is ending. This article will attempt to address some of those questions.
The answer to that is yes and no. That answer will make more sense if you know more about what a settlement of a Georgia workers’ compensation case is.
Settlement of a workers compensation case is an agreement between you and the insurance company. Generally, the insurance company agrees to pay a lump sum amount of money in exchange for you agreeing to give up all or part of your workers compensation case. Georgia workers compensation settlements must be approved by the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation.
When you settle a Georgia workers compensation case, you generally give up all future benefits you might receive from your workers compensation case. So, permanent partial disability benefits are almost always included in the settlement because they are benefits you might receive in the future.
Most of the time, you would not have a settlement in a Georgia workers compensation case that is only permanent partial disability benefits. So, from that point of view, you do not usually have permanent partial disability settlements.
You usually have settlements of the entire workers compensation case. But, you or your attorney will want to factor in your permanent partial disability benefits into the amount of a settlement.
If you want more information about how workers compensation settlement work in Georgia, this article discusses in detail what a settlement is and some of the factors you may want to consider in deciding whether to explore settlement of your case.
Will permanent partial disability benefits be paid in a lump sum?
Sometimes, the insurance company will pay permanent partial disability benefits in a lump sum. Georgia’s workers compensation rules allow the insurance company to either pay permanent partial disability benefits in a lump sum or on a weekly basis.
Many people get confused when permanent partial disability benefits get paid in a lump sum. They sometimes believe that this may be a settlement of their case. The facts that permanent partial disability payments often come toward the end of your workers compensation case can contribute to this confusion.
But, permanent partial disability payments are not really settlement of your case. Those payments are just a benefit that the insurance company is required to pay you under the law when the doctor gives you a permanent partial disability rating.
Can I force the insurance company to settle my case when I receive a permanent partial disability rating?
No. You cannot force the insurance company to pay you a permanent partial disability benefit settlement. Settlement is something that has to be agreed on between you and the insurance company.
Even if you are looking for payment of permanent partial disability benefits in a lump sum, that is not something that you can force the insurance company to do. Sometimes insurance companies choose to do make payments in a lump sum. But that is a voluntary choice on their part because they can just choose to pay them weekly.
If I do not settle my case, how do I make sure I receive the permanent partial disability benefit payments I should?
If you are not settling your case, you should make sure that you receive all workers compensation benefits to which you are entitled. A key part of making sure that you receive the benefits you should is understanding what those benefits are.
I wrote an article that provides some information about permanent partial disability benefits that should be helpful to you. You can read that article here to get a better understanding about permanent partial disability benefits.
What if I have other questions?
I believe it is very important to get answers to questions. When you get answers to your questions, you usually make better decisions because you have the information you need.
Many people find it helpful to talk to a workers compensation attorney to get answers. We provide free workers compensation attorney consultations. If you would like to set one up, just call our office at (770) 214-8885 or complete and submit our free consultation request form.
Jason Perkins is an attorney who specializes in representing injured workers. He regularly publishes videos and write blog articles about Georgia’s workers compensation system and issues that are important to injured workers and their families.
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