Becoming Disabled After a Work Injury
When your work-related injuries or illness are too severe to go back to work, you have several options to replace your lost income. You could consider permanent total disability through work comp, long term disability through a STD/LTD insurer, and Social Security Disability Insurance. At Farrish Johnson Law Office, we routinely help our clients with their disability cases. If you are considering going on disability, give us a call to get more information about your options.
As mentioned above, when you are at the point where you do not think you could go back to work in the foreseeable future because of your work-related injuries, you could apply for Permanent Total Disability (PTD) benefits through your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. To qualify for those benefits, you should be able to show that you meet several requirements outlined in the Minnesota Statutes section 176.101 Subd. 5 (2017).
First, you need to show that your injuries or condition totally and permanently preclude you from being gainfully employed or that you are “unable to secure anything more than sporadic employment resulting in an insubstantial income.” Second, if you are younger than 50, you need to show that your permanent partial disability rating (a rating that is given by a doctor for a permanent injury or loss of bodily function) is at least 17 percent (15 percent if you are over 50 years old). Your age, education, training and experience, may also be considered as a factor when determining whether you are totally and permanently disabled or incapacitated.
If you could prove that you meet all the requirements above, you will most likely be approved for permanent total disability benefits through workers’ compensation. The amount of you benefit will depend on your earnings at the time of the injury or illness. It usually equals to two-thirds of your pre-injury average weekly wage, but it cannot be smaller than 65 percent of the statewide average weekly wage for the year when you got hurt. This means that if, for example, your injury was in 2016, your minimum PTD payment will be $666.90 per week. It should be noted, however, that, unlike Social Security disability, your workers’ compensation benefits are payable until you turn 67 years old (statutory presumptive retirement age). After that, you will have to prove that you had never intended to retire at 67, but would have continued to work if it was not for your injuries.
If you are considering applying for permanent total disability, or if your disability claim was denied, call Attorney Yuri Jelokov at 507-625-2525 for a free comprehensive evaluation of your case.