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Workers’ Compensation: Permanent Partial Disability Awards

In the state of New Jersey, an employee who suffers an injury on the job may be entitled to compensation known as a permanent partial disability award. Unlike a temporary disability benefit, which is based on an employee’s lost wages, a permanent partial disability award is based on a loss of function of one or more body parts that remains after the patient reaches the maximum level of medical improvement.

To qualify for a permanent partial disability award, an employee must demonstrate a loss of function that occurs at the workplace. An experienced New Jersey workers’ comp lawyer can review the nature and extent of a work-related injury and determine if any permanent loss of function at home, such as those occurring during activities or hobbies, qualifies for workers’ compensation.

The State of New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development describes permanent partial disability awards as:

When a job related injury or illness results in a partial permanent disability, benefits are based upon a percentage of certain "scheduled" or "non-scheduled" losses. A "scheduled" loss is one involving arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet, toes, eyes, ears or teeth. A "non-scheduled" loss is one involving any area or system of the body not specifically identified in the schedule, such as the back, the heart, the lungs. These benefits are paid weekly and are due after the date temporary disability ends.”

Schedule of Disabilities

If you are permanently injured on the job, the New Jersey Schedule of Disabilities confirms the dollar amount owed based on the specific body part and the extent of the injury. The columns of the chart can be difficult to interpret and apply, so it is important to speak to a New Jersey workers’ comp lawyer to ensure that the correct claim for permanent partial disability is filed on your behalf and you receive all of the money that you are entitled to under New Jersey law.

Proving a Claim for Permanent Partial Disability

Section 34:15-36 of the New Jersey Statute provides:

"Disability permanent in quality and partial in character" means a permanent impairment caused by a compensable accident or compensable occupational disease, based upon demonstrable objective medical evidence, which restricts the function of the body or of its members or organs; included in the criteria which shall be considered shall be whether there has been a lessening to a material degree of an employee's working ability...”

To prove a claim for permanent partial disability before a New Jersey Judge of Compensation, an injured employee needs to provide proof of several factors including:

  • Extent of any injury
  • Lessening of working ability
  • Medical testing performed
  • Medical diagnosis

Depending on the nature and extent of the injury, your workers’ compensation lawyer may recommend retention of one or more experts to perform a physical examination and to present testimony or medical reports confirming your permanent disability.    

Contact a New Jersey Workers Comp Lawyer with Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A. to File a Claim for Permanent Partial Disability

Permanent partial disability is not automatically awarded after an employee is injured from a work-related accident. Speak to a New Jersey workers’ comp lawyer at Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A. to discuss your employment-related accident and determine if you are entitled to permanent partial disability and other workers’ compensation benefits. Contact our office today.

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