August 11, 2010

Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) benefits: when are they due?

By: Christina Bevill, Esq.

From time to time a situation arises where an employee is injured on the job, returns to work, is no longer receiving TTD or TPD benefits but continues to receive medical treatment. The question arises when permanent partial disability benefits are due.

Many believe reaching maximum medical improvement determines when permanent partial disability benefits are due. In Georgia, however, reaching maximum medical improvement is not a condition precedent to those benefits. This is why sometimes claimant’s attorneys will request an estimated impairment rating and demand payment of the rating even if the claimant continues to treat. Of course, just because the employee demands payment of PPD benefits does not mean payment is due. It is the employee’s burden to show that his condition is “permanent” in nature, meaning it will not improve during his lifetime. For example, a worker with an amputated finger does not have to wait until a doctor determines he has reached maximum medical improvement because the amputation is permanent. However, an employee with a back injury whose condition may improve (or worsen) over time, may not be entitled to payment of the permanent partial disability rating until after the employee has actually reached maximum medical improvement. Each case will depend on the facts. Follow-up with the authorized treating physician is always recommended.

If you have questions or comments, please contact your David & Rosetti attorney at 404-446-4488 or by visiting our website at Nothing contained in this blog should be construed as legal advice or opinion on specific facts. For editorial comments or suggestions, please contact David W. Willis at (404) 446-4491.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.