It’s hard to predict how well an injury will heal. Some workers are back on the job weeks after an accident, while others will feel the effects of an on-the-job injury for the rest of their lives. If you are not expected to recover fully or if you will have permanent limitations as a result of your injury, you may be able to get permanent disability benefits under workers” compensation.
How Your Doctor’s Report Affects Your California Permanent Disability Rating
The most important thing you will need to apply for permanent disability benefits is your permanent and stationary (P&S) report. When you have reached a point where your injury will not improve, but is not getting worse, you have reached what is called maximal medical improvement (MMI). At this point, your doctor can fill out a P&S report that evaluates the particular limitations of your condition.
The details provided in a P&S report can make or break a permanent disability case. You should ask for a copy to make sure the doctor has included information about your:
- Specific medical problems. The report should describe how well you can move the injured parts of your body, any functions you cannot perform, and how much pain you are in on a daily basis.
- Work restrictions. Your doctor should describe anything that limits the amount of work you can do, such as an inability to stand for long periods or lift things over a certain weight.
- Medical care. This includes past procedures but also any treatments that you may need in the future for your injury.
- Ability to return to your old job. Your doctor may suggest work modifications that will allow you to continue working at your former job, if possible.
- Impairment. The report should clearly describe how your injury affects your ability to do daily life activities such as eating, bathing, and dressing.
- Disability outside work. Your doctor must estimate how much of your disability was caused by your job and how much was (or is) caused by other factors.
How Much Will I Get for a Permanent Disability?
The doctor’s report will include an impairment number. This number is put into a formula that includes your occupation, age at the time of your injury, and your future earning capacity to calculate your percentage of disability. Finally, any portion of your disability that was caused by something other than your work injury is taken out of the calculation.
If the P&S report does not go into proper detail, is missing information, or does not give an accurate description of your limitations, you may lose a significant amount of your payments. Click the contact link on this page to have an attorney look over your P&S report for you before you apply for permanent disability benefits.