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Des Moines Disability Benefits Lawyers

In the event of a severe workplace accident, you may be unable to fulfill your normal job requirements for a period of time, or even permanently. Fortunately, workers’ compensation benefits extend to people who are temporarily or permanently unable to work. To learn about compensation you may be eligible for, call Des Moines disability benefits attorneys LaMarca & Landry, P.C. at 877-327-2600.

The Types of Disability Benefits

Temporary disability benefits generally fall into three categories:

Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefits begin when you are off work for more than three days because of an injury. You are entitled to TTD benefits beginning on the fourth day and continues until either you return to work or are medically recovered enough to return to similar work, whichever occurs first. If you are off work for more than 14 calendar days, you may be entitled to payment for the three-day waiting period.

Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) benefits occur if you return to work at a lesser paying job because of your injury. The benefit amount is 66 and 2/3 percent of the difference between your average gross weekly earnings when injured and your actual earnings while you are temporarily working at a lesser paying job. The three-day waiting period also applies to TPD.

Healing Period (HP) benefits is another type of temporary disability. As a practical matter, HP benefits are the same as TTD benefits. You may be entitled to HP benefits while recovering from an injury that resulted in permanent impairment. These benefits begin on the first calendar day after the date of the injury and continue until the first of the following occurs: (1) you return to work; (2) you have recovered as much as anticipated from the injury; or (3) you are medically capable of returning to the same type of work you did before injured.

Permanent Injury Benefits: Scheduled Member Disability

Benefits for permanent injuries include Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) benefits. These benefits apply when your work injury results in a permanent functional impairment to your body or in your inability to earn wages similar to those you earned before your injury. PPD benefits are in addition to healing period benefits and begin when the healing period ends.

There are two types of PPD benefits. The first is scheduled member disability. If your injury is to a scheduled member, your PPD benefits are based on a functional impairment. Scheduled member injuries include the following:

  • Loss of thumb – 60 weeks
  • Loss of first finger – 35 weeks
  • Loss of second finger – 30 weeks
  • Loss of third finger – 25 weeks
  • Loss of fourth finger – 20 weeks
  • Loss of hand – 190 weeks
  • Loss of arm – 250 weeks
  • Loss of great toe – 40 weeks
  • Loss of any other toe – 15 weeks
  • Loss of foot – 150 weeks
  • Loss of leg – 220 weeks
  • Loss of eye – 140 weeks
  • Loss of hearing in one ear – 50 weeks
  • Loss of hearing in both ears – 175 weeks
  • Permanent disfigurement, face or head – 150 weeks
  • Body as a whole/industrial disability – 500 weeks

The number of weeks of PPD benefits you receive is a percentage of loss or loss of use multiplied by the full number of weeks for the member. For example, a knee injury, which results in a 10% impairment, would entitle you to 22 weeks of PPD benefits (10% x 220). The treating physician generally determines the “impairment rating”.

If you wish a second opinion with regard to the impairment rating, one can be obtained at the employer’s cost. A Des Moines permanent injury benefits attorney can help ensure your rights and interests are protected if you in the midst of a workers’ compensation claim.

Permanent Injury Benefits: Body as a Whole

Injuries that are not scheduled member injuries are often termed “body as a whole” injuries. Examples of body as a whole injuries include neck, back, shoulder, hip, head injuries, and spinal injuries. Mental injuries also fall under the “body as a whole” category.

When your work injury results in a permanent disability to a part of the body not included as a scheduled member, the disability is considered industrial rather than exclusively functional, and is determined by your loss of earning capacity. This is referred to as industrial disability. Even if you return to work at the same job, you may be entitled to industrial disability, if your injury has lessened your overall earning capacity.

A variety of factors are included in determining industrial disability. These factors include your age, work experience, educational background, functional impairment and work restrictions, as well as other factors, all of which are considered when determining industrial disability. If you have concerns regarding Iowa workers’ compensation law and your claim, a Des Moines permanent disability benefits lawyer at LaMarca & Landry, P.C. can assist you.

Permanent Injury Benefits: Loss of Life

In the event of a loved one’s death in a workplace accident, death benefits are also available under workers’ compensation law. If you are dependent upon someone who has died as a result of a work injury, you may be eligible to receive death benefits.

A surviving spouse can receive death benefits for life or until remarriage. Dependent children are also entitled to death benefits until age 18, or if actually dependent until age 25. Other persons can qualify for death benefits if they were actually dependent on the deceased worker. In addition to the weekly death benefits, the deceased worker’s employer or its insurance carrier must pay burial expenses of up to $5,000.

Contact Us

If you or a loved one has suffered a severe workplace injury, you may be facing a variety of medical, financial, and emotional difficulties. Let our Des Moines workers’ compensation lawyers take on your legal struggle for you. Contact us today at 877-327-2600.

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