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Does Permanent Partial Disability Benefit Payment End My Workers’ Compensation Case?

Our previous articles in this blog series on permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits in Georgia workers’ compensation cases provided a general overview of permanent partial disability benefits and discussed when these benefits are paid and for how long.  This article will discuss whether accepting permanent partial disability benefits settles your workers’ compensation case.  It will also discuss how you can contest a permanent partial disability rating when you believe the rating was incorrect.

Will Cashing A Permanent Partial Disability Check End My Case?

While permanent partial disability benefits are sometimes paid in a lump sum by your employer or your employer’s insurance company, acceptance of that permanent partial disability check does not settle or end your case.  In order to settle your workers’ compensation case in Georgia, you would need to sign paperwork agreeing to settle your case for a certain amount of money.  Also, that settlement paperwork would have to be approved by a judge at the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation.

When the insurance company pays you a check for permanent partial disability benefits, they are simply paying you something they owe you under the law.  Settlement is different and involves an agreement to give up your case in exchange for money (if you have questions about settlement, our blog series about settlement may be helpful to you).  Although acceptance of this check will not settle your case, it is important to remember that there may very well be time limits (called statutes of limitation) that affect how long you have to pursue additional benefits in your workers’ compensation case.  Determining how long you have to pursue benefits for being out of work, medical treatment, or additional permanent partial disability benefits can be complicated.  If you have questions, we recommend that you contact one of our attorneys who specializes in workers’ compensation for a free consultation.

Contesting an Incorrect Permanent Partial Disability Rating

Another concern that people have about accepting permanent partial disability benefits is that they believe that the disability rating may be incorrect.  They also believe that accepting the check that the insurance company sends them for those benefits may mean that they legally agree with the rating.  It is important to understand that you can still disagree with the permanent partial disability rating the doctor gave you even if you accept some or all of checks that the insurance company pays you.

Generally, the way that you would contest the amount of a PPD rating is by filing a Form WC-14 requesting a hearing in front of a workers’ compensation administrative law judge.  If you are considering requesting a hearing, we would highly recommend that you have a free consultation with an attorney specializing in workers’ compensation law before doing so.  Without an attorney, it can be difficult to prove your case in court.  You can get a free consultation with one of our attorneys by completing and submitting our free consultation request form or calling our office at (770) 214-8885.

What if I have other questions about workers compensation?

Georgia’s workers compensation system can be very confusing.  You have to worry about getting the treatment you need and paying your bills while also worrying about not missing any deadlines that could cause you to lose your right to receive workers compensation benefits.

If you have questions, I would recommend that you try to get answers.  To find out more about how to schedule a time to talk to me about your workers compensation questions, just read this short article.

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.

To be notified of Jason’s new workers compensation videos, subscribe to his Georgia Workers Compensation Video Series channel on YouTube by clicking the subscribe button below.

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Jason Perkins

Workers' Compensation Attorney

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