Does the patient have a disability due to a brain injury? Generally, workers get paid 2/3rds of their average weekly wage for as long as they cannot work, for up to 500 weeks. In addition, workers determined to be a permanently disabled are entitled to lifetime pay. Once MMI is achieved the worker will be evaluated to determine the exact nature of the disability.
- Temporary Total Disability. (TTD) In this case, the worker does have a disability but eventually may be able to return to work. The worker will be evaluated by the treating doctor who will typically refer the employee for a functional capacity exam of some kind, when the doctor determines the employee has reached maximum medical improvement. (MMI). In the case of a brain injury, the examination may include a neuro-psychological evaluation and other tests to determine brain function and cognitive impairment.
- Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) If the injured worker returns to work his pay rate may be much lower. For example, before the injury a worker may have earned $800 a week. After MMI, the worker may only earn $500 a week. The worker will continue to get 2/3rds of the difference or $200 (800-500 x 2/3) for as long as he or she works in that job.
- Permanent and Total Disability. This can be pertinent in brain injury cases in both Virginia and North Carolina, which have a special provision for permanent and total disability. The Commission must find that the worker is permanently and totally disabled due to the brain injury. In this case, the worker cannot return to work in any capacity and the brain injury must be severe, as evidenced by severe sensory, communication, motor, functional, or neurological Here, the worker gets 2/3rds of his/her average weekly salary for life. It is not limited to the 500 weeks.
The difference between a temporary vs. permanent and total disability can thus be very substantial. It is thus imperative that the right classification be determined. It also essential that workers should not enter into any settlement agreement until they have reached MMI and the right classification is made.
North Carolina and Virginia Lawyer Joe Miller Knows Workers’ Compensation Law
Injured or ill workers need an experienced lawyer who knows the worker’s compensation laws. The proper classification of a work-related injury can mean the difference between getting and not getting large sums of money. Workers who suffered a work-related injury in North Carolina or Virginia need the help of an experienced law. Attorney Joe Miller has the experience to advocate for all your rights. To make an appointment or discuss your case, call Lawyer Joe Miller today at 888-694-1671 and ask for me, Joe Miller, or complete my online form