What are PPD Benefits? The Clock is Ticking.
PPD benefits are the workers’ compensation benefits you receive when your work-related injury reaches Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI). MMI is reached around the one year mark from the date of injury or date of surgery. MMI occurs when, after a course of treatment, your doctor has determined further medical treatment will not improve your injury.
Next, your doctor determines whether you have lost some function in that body part. If you have lost some function you are said to have a PPD, which is an acronym for “partial permanent disability.” Once it has been determined if you have a partial permanent disability you will be eligible to receive certain workers’ compensation benefits.
How does a Doctor determine lost function/PPD?
Your doctor uses the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, Sixth Edition to determine the lost function. The text book contains guidance that your medical provider uses to assess the injury’s lasting effect. The assessment ultimately is boiled down to a percentage.
That percentage is used to calculate the number of PPD benefit payments to which you are entitled. Here is how:
- Under Conn. Gen. Stat. Sec. 31-308, each body part has been assigned a value;
- The value is measured in the number of weeks you might be entitled to be paid.
As an example, suppose that you are right-handed and you injured your right arm. Conn. Gen. Stat. 31-308 indicates that:
- Master Arm Loss at or above elbow 208 weeks
Thus, you are entitled to PPD benefits for a maximum of 208 weeks. Suppose that your doctor determined you lost 10% function in your right arm. You are said to have a 10% PPD rating. You would be entitled to 20.8 weeks of benefits paid at your workers’ compensation rate.
The more money you made before the injury, the greater the amount you are paid each week. If your workers’ compensation rate is
$400 per week, you will receive $8,320.00. If your workers’ compensation rate is $900 per week, you will receive $18,720.00. The PPD ratings ignore the long term effect the injury might have on your livelihood. An attorney with a 10% PPD rating to her shoulder is better positioned to continue her profession than a roofer with the same 10% rating.
So what happens when the 20.8 weeks are paid? Generally, the checks stop even if you can’t get a new job. There are some other potential benefits available, but you should probably talk to a workers’ compensation attorney. I know one.