Workers’ Comp Claim Process: Permanent Partial Disability Benefits (PPD)
One of the most overlooked parts of Georgia Workers’ Compensation law is compensation for permanent impairment or Permanent Partial Disability Benefits (PPD). Yet, this category of benefits is crucial to the determination of how much your case is worth in settlement.
Typically when an injured worker has undergone treatment and has improved as much as is medically possible (this is called reaching maximum medical improvement, or MMI), the treating physician will assess how much the work injury has permanently impaired the patient in terms of a percentage rating. O.C.G.A. Section 34-9-263 governs PPD benefits and sets forth that the treating physician must use the 5th Edition of American Medical Association guidelines in assigning the permanent impairment rating. For example, someone with a low back injury may be assigned a rating to the “whole body” whereas someone with a knee injury would be rated for the “lower extremity”. O.C.G.A. Section 34-9-263 sets out a particular number of weeks of disability benefits corresponding to an injury to each body part.
Accurately calculating permanent impairment ratings and setting forth the amount and timing of permanent partial disability benefits can be very frustrating and confusing, especially if you do not have a trained advocate guiding you through the process. If you have been injured on the job, contact experienced Georgia workers’ compensation lawyer T. Andrew Miller for a free case evaluation and consultation today!