Some on-the-job injuries are minor, but a great deal of workers suffer devastating injuries that can completely disrupt their lives. Sadly, many on-the-job injuries are so severe that they leave workers permanently disabled and unable to work. Permanent disability benefits are awarded to workers who find themselves in this situation. But, how long can permanently disabled workers expect to receive these benefits?
Permanent Partial Disability Benefits vs. Permanent Total Disability Benefits
Before learning how long these benefits last, it is important to understand the difference between permanent total and permanent partial disability benefits. Permanent total disability benefits are awarded to workers who are unable to work at all because of their injuries. On the other hand, permanent partial disability benefits are awarded to workers who can work, but not in the position they held prior to the injury.
How Long Do Permanent Total Disability Benefits Last?
Permanent total disability benefits will be awarded to workers for a period of 15 years or until they are old enough to qualify for the maximum amount of Social Security retirement benefits. If the worker passes away before his benefits end, the benefits will immediately end on the date of his death. However, this is only true if the death was unrelated to the on-the-job injury.
How Long Do Permanent Partial Disability Benefits Last?
The amount of time that permanent partial disability benefits will be awarded to a worker will depend on which part of the worker’s body is disabled, according to 85A OK Stat § 46.
For example, the law states that a worker who has had his arm amputated between the elbow and shoulder can receive benefits for 275 weeks. However, if the amputation occurred between the elbow and wrist instead, the benefits will only continue for 220 weeks. Likewise, a worker with hearing loss in one ear will receive benefits for 110 weeks, whereas a worker with hearing loss in both ears will receive benefits for 330 weeks. As you can see, the number of weeks of permanent partial disability benefits can vary greatly. Regardless of the location of the injury, these benefits cannot be awarded for more than 350 weeks.
If you have been injured while on-the-job, contact Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. at once. Let our experienced attorneys work tirelessly to obtain your workers’ compensation benefits while you focus solely on your recovery. Call us now at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.