There comes a time when, if an injury or illness prevents you from doing your usual job, you may start receiving Temporary Disability (TD) benefits during your recovery period. However, after your condition stabilizes but still permanently affects your ability to work, you may be eligible to transition to Permanent Disability (PD) benefits.
It’s essential for you to understand this transition from TD to PD, as it has significant legal and financial implications for your future.
The permanent and stationary stage
Once your doctor determines that you’ve reached a point where your condition has stabilized – not improving, but not worsening – you’ve arrived at the ‘permanent and stationary’ (P&S) stage. This is also known as ‘maximal medical improvement’ (MMI). This stage signals that your temporary disability may transition into a permanent one. For instance, if you were temporarily unable to walk due to a leg injury but, even after healing to its fullest extent, you still can’t walk as before, you may be deemed permanently disabled.
Filing the report
After reaching P&S, your primary treating physician will write a report indicating the specifics of your condition. In this report, they should detail the following:
- Your medical condition
- The limitations your injury imposes on your work
- Your future medical care
- How much your job contributed to your disability
Your physician sends this report to the claims administrator assigned to you. It’s important to remember that you can request a copy of this report. Plus, if you disagree with any of its conclusions, you have the right to challenge them.
Appealing if you disagree
Once you receive the P&S report, the claims administrator will calculate your PD benefits and send you a notice of offer. The P&S report directly affects the amount of benefits you can receive. So, if you reject this offer, you can request a hearing before a workers’ compensation judge, who will decide your PD benefits. But if you accept it, you will start receiving benefits and give up your right to appeal.
Due diligence is important
Moving from TD to PD is an important step in your workers’ compensation claim. Evidently, it affects the amount and duration of your benefits, as well as your legal rights and options. So, you should consider consulting a workers’ compensation attorney to help determine the best course of action for your case and avoid settling for less than you deserve.