Permanent Total Disability (PTD)
Some serious work injuries never fully heal. If your physician determines you’ve reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) after a workplace injury and you cannot work again, Maryland workers’ compensation law allows you to pursue permanent total disability (PTD) benefits. These benefits offset a portion of the future income you’ve lost due to the injury.
The Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission automatically presumes certain injuries qualify employees for permanent total disability benefits. Injuries that fall outside the scope of presumptive conditions are decided on a case-by-case basis. Claimants must provide strong and persuasive evidence to make their case for PTD benefits. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can prepare your claim and push for the full benefits you deserve after a job injury.
Trollinger Law LLC is an experienced workers’ compensation and personal injury law firm serving clients throughout Southern Maryland. We understand the difficulties employees face when their livelihoods are snatched away from them after a work-related injury. Permanent total disability benefits can provide the financial support you need to pay the bills and rebuild your life. Let us help you navigate the system and pursue the PTD you deserve.
Call or contact us today for a free consultation.
What is Permanent Total Disability?
Permanent total disability benefits provide lifetime financial support to individuals who cannot earn an income due to a permanent total disability. To qualify for PTD, your doctor must declare you have recovered as much as can reasonably be expected. This plateau is called maximum medical improvement (MMI).
According to the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission, eligible individuals can receive two-thirds of their pre-accident average weekly wage for as long as they remain permanently disabled.
How Do I Get Permanent Total Disability Benefits?
Every business with more than one employee must carry workers’ compensation insurance in Maryland. If they qualify, injured workers can apply for PTD benefits with their employer’s insurance company.
To begin the claims process, you must notify your employer of your injury (orally or in writing) within 10 days of the accident. You or your attorney must also fill out an employee claim form with the Workers’ Compensation Commission and submit a physician’s report if you have one. For non-fatal workplace injuries, employees generally have 60 days to file a workers’ comp claim.
You or your employer can request a hearing if your claim requires further investigation. Hearings are typically scheduled within a month and take place within three months. It’s a good idea to hire a workers’ compensation lawyer if your claim reaches this stage. Your attorney can prepare and present evidence to support your case for PTD benefits.
If you request a hearing, the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission will issue a decision within 30 days. If you are unhappy with the Commission’s decision, you have the right to appeal.
What Injuries Qualify for PTD?
Under the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission’s guidelines, an injured worker is presumed to have a permanent, total disability if they lose function in:
- Both hands
- Both arms
- Both feet
- Both legs
- Both eyes
An injured employee is also presumed to have a permanent, total disability if they lose function in a combination of any two body parts listed below:
- One hand
- One arm
- One foot
- One leg
- One eye
When workers don’t meet the qualifications for presumption, the facts of the case will determine their eligibility for PTD benefits. If an injured worker is found to be eligible for PTD, they are entitled to receive benefits for life or until their condition changes and they are no longer considered permanently disabled.
How Are Permanent Disability Benefits Calculated?
Permanent disability benefits are based on your average weekly wage (AWW) before the injury. To determine how much you can receive in PTD benefits, take your average weekly wage for the previous 52 weeks of work and multiply that by two-thirds, or 66.67 percent. Your weekly benefit amount cannot exceed 100 percent of the state’s average weekly wage.
What Should I Do if I Am Denied Permanent Disability Benefits?
Always contact an attorney if your workers’ compensation claim gets denied. The appeals process is more formal than a workers’ compensation hearing with the Commission, and you will need an experienced attorney to help you navigate the complexities of the legal process.
How a Lawyer Can Help
The stakes are high if you’re making a claim for permanent total disability. Rather than file the PTD claim alone, get help from a workers’ comp attorney. Your attorney can gather and preserve medical evidence to support your claim, negotiate a settlement on your behalf, offer you pertinent legal advice, and represent you at hearings.
At Trollinger Law, LLC, we don’t want you to worry about how to afford a lawyer. We only collect a state-determined legal fee if we win your case. We don’t get paid unless you do, too.
Contact a Maryland Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
Trollinger Law LLC is dedicated to helping injured workers secure the disability benefits they’re entitled to by state law. Our legal team knows you’re going through a challenging time, and we’re here to help. Let us put you on the path to permanent total disability benefits. Call or contact us online for a free consultation with a Maryland workers’ compensation lawyer.