Our previous article in this blog series provided a general overview of what permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits are. This article will discuss when you will start receiving PPD benefits. It will also discuss how long you will receive them.
When Permanent Partial Disability Benefits Start
Before you can receive PPD benefits, you first have to had a permanent partial disability rating. Your doctor will give you that. Also, under Georgia law, your employer does not have to start paying you permanent partial disability benefits until you stop receiving temporary total and temporary partial disability benefits. Once you stop receiving those benefits, the law requires your employer to start paying PPD benefits. If your benefits stop and the doctor has not yet given you a rating, the law requires your employer to request a PPD rating. Once they receive the rating from the doctor, your employer must start paying the benefits within twenty one days. So, if your doctor has not given you a PPD rating yet when your temporary disability benefits stop, it may be a month or more before you start receiving PPD benefits.
How Long Are Permanent Partial Disability Benefits Paid
When your employer starts paying permanent partial disability benefits, they can either pay the entire amount in one lump sum payment or pay benefits weekly. If the employer starts paying you weekly benefits, the amount per week will be the same as what you receive for temporary total disability benefits (see how that is calculated here). The number of weeks that you will receive benefits will depend on how high a disability rating the doctors gives you and what part of your body was rated.
Different Types of Ratings and What They Mean
The most common disability rating is to the “body as a whole”. If the rating you receive is to the body as a whole, then you will receive three weeks of benefits for every one percent that you are rated. So, if you have a 10% disability rating to the body as a whole, you will receive 30 weeks of permanent partial disability benefits.
You might receive a rating to a specific part of your body. The most common type is a rating to the upper extremity or lower extremity. If you receive an upper or lower extremity rating, then you will receive 2.25 weeks of benefits for every percent that you are rated (which means that a rating of 10% to the upper extremity would pay you 22.5 weeks of benefits). There are also a number of other specific body part ratings and each one of them entitles you to a different number of weeks of benefits per percent that you are rated. You can click here if you would like more information about all the different specific body part ratings.
Our next blog article in this series will discuss whether accepting permanent disability benefits settles or ends your case and how to contest a permanent partial disability rating if you disagree with it. Also, if you have any other questions about workers’ compensation you can get a free consultation with one of our attorneys. Simply complete and submit our free consultation request form or call our office at (770) 214-8885.
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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