Sadly, injuries at the workplace happen, and those injuries may lead to permanent disability. The extent of the benefits you’ll get from a disability depends on an estimation of how much it impacts your earning ability. Permanent partial disability (PPD), which involves the partial loss of a hand, foot, leg, eye, etc., can get a bit complex since the calculations can be made in a number of different ways.
An injury may lead to your being reassigned to a different task. If that job pays less than before, you are entitled to a wage differential, which is two-thirds of the difference between your old average weekly wage (AWW) and your new one.
For example, if you were earning $1200 per week but were reassigned to a job that pays $600 per week after your injury, you’d get two-thirds of $1200 minus $600. This is 2/3 times $600, or $400 per week for the duration of your disability.
Note that you can’t get a wage differential and disability award. It’s one or the other.
The schedule of losses, which is often known as the body part list, is a list of body parts and the number of weeks of compensation a loss of that body part would merit. You would get 60% of your AWW for the number of weeks specified for the body part. In the case of a partial loss, that time is reduced based on the percentage.
For example, suppose you’ve lost an estimated 50% of your left foot. You would be entitled to 50% of the 167 weeks of compensation, or 167 weeks x 0.50, which comes out to 83.5 weeks. If you earn $600 per week, you’d get $360 (60% of $600) times 83.5 weeks, or $30,060 total.
If you have suffered permanent disfigurement as a result of a work-related injury, that may be used as a means of calculating your disability reward. The change to your appearance is evaluated and assigned a number of weeks, up to 162. That number of weeks is multiplied by 60% of your wages for the total award.
For example, suppose you have some facial scarring from surgery after an accident, for which you might be assigned 81 weeks. Take that times 60% of your wages (suppose that’s $1000 per week, which comes out to $600), and you get $48,600 total.
Loss of Percentage of Person as a Whole
For injuries that aren’t on the schedule, PPD could be calculated based on an estimate of your total level of impairment. A number of factors are taken into account, including age, your level of skill, the tasks you normally perform at work, and so on. That percentage is then multiplied by 500 weeks for your total compensation. For example, an estimated loss of 25% of your whole person would merit 125 weeks' worth of compensation. Like the others, the dollar amount is based on 60% of your AWW.
If you have suffered an injury at the workplace, you will want legal help to get what you deserve. Hart & David can help you through that process.