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When work leads total permanent disability

Workers in California have coverage under state workers’ compensation laws when they sustain an injury on the job or develop an illness or injury from tasks they do at work. An employer must cover this insurance, and many return to the workforce after a short time of treatment and recovery. Unfortunately, others face issues in the form of a lasting disability that can affect the person’s ability to work or earn a living.

What to expect with a permanent disability

Even those who can go back to work after a claim can still qualify for a permanent disability. According to the State of California Department of Industrial Relations, there are limits to permanent disability benefits. They may not cover the entire loss of income, or any losses not related to the ability to work. State law determines benefits and uses the following guidelines to determine the amount:

  • The date of the injury
  • The percentage of the impairment level
  • Examination by a primary treating physician who determines the injury’s effect on the individual’s ability to work
  • A formula based on when the injury occurred
  • Calculations by a judge or disability evaluator

Can an injured person dispute a doctor’s report?

At times, a doctor may give a report of health that does not match up with what the person can do. There is a formal process to object to a doctor’s report, which leads to three qualified medical evaluators completing a panel to investigate an injury. The injured may also work with an attorney and an agreed medical evaluator to resolve any medical disputes.