Yes as Long as There is No Change in Disability Status
Lifelong Disability Benefits
Many people are concerned about the length of time they can receive disability benefits through the Second Injury Fund (the Special Fund). Generally speaking, if you collect permanent total disability (PTD) or permanent partial disability (PPD) through this fund, your DBA special fund benefits can last the rest of your life as long as there is no change in your disability status.
However, most employees will go through periods of injury improvement or worsening disability, both of which can affect a number of their benefits. Your employer or insurer may petition for a modification of your award based on a change in your condition, causing an increase, decrease, or termination of your payments. A few common situations where an employee’s benefits may be modified include:
- Temporary disability. Employees collecting PPD benefits may require treatments, rest, or surgery that will leave them temporarily unable to work. During this time, the employee should be considered totally disabled, and his employer or insurance company should modify his benefits to temporarily increase his payments. Temporary disability is paid by the employer, not through the Special Fund.
- Worsening disability. Unfortunately, some employees who receive PPD benefits will suffer a deterioration of their conditions, making them permanently unable to earn a living. If your injury gets worse to the point where you can no longer work, you must apply for permanent total disability benefits through the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP). You must have proper evidence of the change in your condition, such as past medical records, recent medical evaluations, and your doctor’s recommendations and work restrictions. You should also send this information to your employer or insurer to let them know there will be a modification in the amount and type of benefits you receive.
What If My Employer Unfairly Modifies My DBA Benefits?
You, your employer, and your insurer may all submit requests to modify a number of your benefits. If one party does not agree to the proposed changes or termination of benefits, you may request an informal conference to decide the matter or get advice from a longshore attorney on how to proceed. To find out more about getting maximum payment for a DBA injury, read through a free copy of our guide, Win Your Defense Base Act Case.
“I’ll tell you what the public likes more than anything. It’s the rarest commodity in the world - honesty.” - Merle Haggard
When handling your DBA case, nothing matters more than the honest truth. Nothing. You must be straightforward and honest about your case. I have seen many instances where a client will sugar coat their injury and the courts throw out the case. Why? All because they were not honest from the beginning.
The DBA insurance company is not on your side. They have traps laying around for you to fall in. And bet on it, if you do not follow the proper steps with your DBA case, you will fall right in.
The Next Step
Remember the DBA insurance company is not your friend. I strongly suggest you order a free copy of my book, Win Your Defense Base Act Case. Trust me. My only goal here is to make sure honest hard working folks like you, do not get ripped off by these companies.
The book has plenty of great reviews on Amazon, and it is a guide to only help you succeed in your case.
You can check out my podcast at DBAradio.com where I cover important DBA issues.
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Disclaimer: Please understand these discussions and/or examples are not legal advice. All legal situations are different. This testimonial, endorsement and/or discussion does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter, your particular case/ situation and/or this particular case/ situation. Thanks, Bill Turley