Permanent Total Disability Lawyers in Ohio
Permanent total disability (PTD) benefits were established to help workers who have experienced a debilitating disability resulting from work-related accidents. For those individuals who are so disabled from a work injury that they are unable to continue working in any capacity for the remainder of their lives, permanent total disability benefits should be pursued. If an injured worker is granted permanent total disability, he or she will be paid compensation for lost wages by workers’ compensation for the rest of his/her life. Therefore, any person who suffers an injury which is so severe that it completely and permanently removes that person from the workforce should pursue permanent total disability.
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Anyone who thinks they should pursue permanent total disability should know that obtaining permanent total disability benefits is a difficult process. Permanent total disability is reserved for only the most severely injured workers, and there are numerous obstacles in place which make it difficult for even those workers to be found permanently and totally disabled. If you think you might be permanently and totally disabled, you definitely want to obtain an attorney to help you through the process. Even with an experienced attorney obtaining permanent total disability can be difficult. Without an attorney, getting permanent total disability can seem nearly impossible.
Factors Considered in Permanent Total Disability Claims
Permanent total disability claims differ from most other claims in Ohio workers’ compensation based on the fact that they consider more than just the injuries that a person suffers. Along with a person’s injuries, permanent total disability claims consider “vocational factors” which include the worker’s age, education, and work history. Therefore, there are two ways that a person can be found permanently and totally disabled. The first way is that the medical conditions are so severe that continued employment is impossible due to those conditions. The second way to qualify for permanent total disability is that limitations arising from a work injury limit a person to types of work that their age, education and work history would make it impossible for that person to obtain. In most scenarios, this second situation occurs when a person who has done physical work in the past only qualifies to do skilled sedentary work which he or she lacks the age, education, and skills acquired from past jobs to retrain for.
More About Factors Considered for Permanent Total Disability
Injuries: The most important factor considered in any permanent total disability evaluation is the extent of the injuries suffered at work. If the injuries are so disabling that they prevent the performance of any work, the injuries can be enough to demonstrate permanent disability without consideration of other factors. If any doctor, even a doctor chosen by workers’ compensation, says that the injuries prevent some, but not all work, then the factors listed below may be considered to determine whether an individual can find work within the limitations created by the work injury.
Age: An individual’s age is one factor that is considered when determining whether an individual can return to work in a field which has different expectations than the jobs they held before becoming disabled. While an individual cannot “age into permanent total disability” the impact of age on an ability to retrain should be considered.
Education: As most individuals who suffer significant limitations due to a work injury would be forced to retrain in order to obtain jobs within those limitations, education is another factor considered during permanent total disability considerations. Education is most often considered to determine whether the worker has the ability to learn skills that might be required for jobs in sit down fields which require greater reading and writing abilities than physical jobs which often lead to injuries.
Work History: Workers compensation will also look into an individual’s work history to determine whether a person can adapt to jobs within restrictions arising from a work injury. Skills developed during a pre-injury career can demonstrate an ability to adapt to new challenges, while a history of unskilled work can demonstrate that the development of new skills could be a challenge.
Efforts at Rehabilitation: Where some work is found to be physically possible, workers’ compensation will generally look at whether an injured worker attempted vocational rehabilitation. Workers’ compensation generally wants to see that an injured worker has taken steps to determine whether they can be assisted in a return to the workforce. If those efforts are undertaken, but do not succeed, the effort itself can help demonstrate that the individual is incapable of returning to work
Anyone who wants to file for permanent total disability should know workers’ compensation rarely accepts a simple claim that an injured worker is incapable of working in the future. Workers’ compensation usually wants to see a number of steps taken by the injured worker to prove to them that working is impossible. These steps, which can include rehabilitation efforts, job searches, and other potential efforts should always be done in consultation with an attorney, because if they are not handled appropriately they can hurt rather than help a claim for permanent total disability.
40 Years of Experience Handling Permanent Total Disability Claims
Anyone who is pursuing permanent total disability should know that the process for establishing PTD benefits is long and complex. Many individuals suffering from work-related debilitating disabilities are left confused and without the benefits needed to cover their lost wages. At The Harris Firm, we have more than 40 years of experience helping injured workers obtain the benefits they are entitled to. When you select our law firm, we determine if you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits and the steps that must be taken to secure them. Contact our permanent total disability lawyers in Ohio to discuss the details of your disability and the circumstances that led to it.
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Overcoming Administrative Hurdles to Secure the Benefits You Need
The workers’ compensation system is bureaucratic and lined with rigid deadlines and timetables. The system also makes it difficult for individuals to be medically considered permanent and totally disabled, according to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation’s stringent medical definitions. If you think you may be permanently and totally disabled, you need all the help you can get.
There are so many potential missteps and mistakes that can make securing the workers’ compensation benefits you need very challenging. As your permanent total disability lawyers, we can help you avoid time-consuming and costly mistakes that could prevent you from obtaining the benefits you deserve.
Contact Our Cincinnati Disability Attorneys for a Free Consultation
When dealing with a system that is stacked up against you, make sure that you have experienced representation to act as your advocate. Contact our workers’ compensation lawyers today for a free initial consultation. We are committed to making the path smoother to help you receive the benefits you need.