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What is permanent total disability?

On Behalf of | May 11, 2021 | Workers' Compensation

The Social Security Administration (SSA) sets the parameters for what is considered a disability for all U.S. residents. While the rules regarding disability determination apply primarily to the federal agency, those who become injured at work are held to the same set of disability determination rules for workers’ compensation as well. People who are permanently injured at work and are also eligible for Social Security benefits will typically be placed on workers’ compensation first and later transferred to Social Security after being released from coverage by the respondent insurance provider. This can be a complicated process, which is why it is vital to have a knowledgeable South Dakota workers’ compensation attorney representing a serious long-term injury comp case.

Insurance company determination

Unlike the SSA, which primarily issues only permanent total disability (TPD) rulings, workers’ compensation insurance companies pay disability benefits when a condition is either temporary or permanent. Those determined disabled by insurance company standards can be temporarily disabled with a good prognosis of rehabilitation and still receive benefits. Individuals who are seriously injured and disabled by SSA standards are typically paid in lump sums in workers’ comp settlements, so SSA benefits can begin sooner.

Social Security total permanent disability

As determined by the government agency, TPD is established by medical evidence that an injured worker cannot maintain substantive gainful employment at the time of determination, and his or her prognosis is for no future improvement in his or her condition. Individuals who become disabled at work but do not have the required Social Security tax credits can receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in some cases.

State disability determinations

SSI is an annual approval made by state disability departments, but workers’ compensation lump sum payments over $2,000 for a single worker or $3,000 for a married worker can result in someone being denied SSI disability benefits. This is important because states set time limits on workers’ comp income benefits.

It is important to remember that workers’ compensation claims are handled differently in each state, and it is always vital to have an experienced Idaho workers’ comp attorney handling an injury case that will result in total permanent disability. When evidence of negligence is present, the comp claim could be much more valuable than an injured person realizes.