In Minnesota, you can receive wage-loss benefits called Permanent Total Disability if you cannot ever return to work due to a workplace injury. This is one of four wage-loss benefits available to injured workers. The other three are Temporary Total Disability, Permanent Partial Disability, and Temporary Partial Disability.
To receive Permanent Total Disability (PTD) benefits, you must have a certain level of permanent disability as determined by agreement with the employer and insurer or as declared by a judge. Medical reports from your treating physician and the independent medical examiner provide evidence supporting the level of disability you have. In addition, your age and education factor into the determination. Your disability in combination with your impairment from the disability must mean that you cannot secure anything more than “sporadic employment resulting in an insubstantial income”.
Some work injuries automatically qualify you for PTD benefits, including loss of both arms, loss of both legs, loss of vision in both eyes, complete paralysis, or permanent loss of mental faculties. For other disabilities resulting from an injury, you must have one of the following ratings:
- At least a 17% whole body permanent partial disability (PPD) impairment rating;
- At least a 15% whole body PPD impairment rating, and have been at least 50 years old at the time of the injury;
- At least a 13% whole body PPD impairment rating, have been at least 55 years old at the time of the injury, and have not completed grade 12 or secured a GED Certificate.
The whole body impairment ratings refer to the amount of partial disability you have. Your workplace injury may contribute in whole or in part to your overall impairment. The law requires, however, that your impairment affects your ability to get or keep a job. This standard causes hardship for people who cannot hold down a job but do not meet the impairment level required for PTD.
Injured workers who qualify for PTD benefits receive two-thirds of the gross weekly wage they were earning at the time they were injured. There is both a minimum and maximum cap on weekly PTD benefits. The minimum benefit is 65 percent of the statewide average weekly wage. The maximum benefit is the maximum amount the worker would have received in temporary total disability benefits.
Many workers receive government disability benefits in addition to PTD benefits. After an injured worker has received $25,000 in PTD benefits, the employer’s PTD payment is reduced by the amount of any disability benefits being paid by the government. The reduction only occurs if the government benefits are paid because of the same injury that led to the worker receiving PTD.
Permanent total disability benefits end at age 67, which is considered the worker’s presumed retirement date. The employee can challenge this presumption if he would have retired later.
Are you seeking wage-loss benefits due to a work-related injury? Joe Osterbauer, Esq. and the Osterbauer Law Firm stand up for injured Minnesota workers’ rights. Joe’s 27 years of workers’ compensation experience and his team’s speedy service combine to get clients the results they need. To schedule a free consultation, visit Osterbauer Law Firm online or call Joe’s office at (612) 334-3434.