Definition of Permanent Disability
Permanent disability, as it applies to a workers' compensation case, is when a work-related injury leaves a worker with some kind of disability that is not going to go away. It is not going to be resolved. It is permanent, not temporary. In other words, a permanent disability is a disability that is going to last for the rest of a worker's life.
A permanent disability can either be a permanent partial disability or a permanent total disability. When an injured worker's permanent disability is regarded as a permanent partial disability, it means that the worker is still able to work, but they can no longer work in their prior capacity and will have to work at a job that does not pay as well as the job they had when they were injured. The amount of benefits an injured worker receives for a permanent partial disability varies from state to state. Most states use a disability schedule to determine compensation amounts. While how permanent total disability is defined varies from state to state, it usually means a permanent disability resulting from a work-related injury that leaves an injured worker permanently and totally unable to work again. The amount that a worker receives varies from state to state. In most instances, a worker will receive compensation benefits for the rest of their life, when they are determined to have a permanent total disability.