Usually a worker with a permanent total disability (PTD) will collect workers' compensation during his or her disability, and may not return to any work. For most people, barring a breakthrough medical improvement, PTD continues for the rest of their lives.
However, there's one exception to this rule. If a person is granted statutory PTD benefits, he or she may hold a job and continue to collect workers’ comp. I’ll explain how this works.
What Is a Statutory PTD?
Permanent total disability (PTD) is any condition that prevents an individual from engaging in gainful employment. There's no list of qualifying conditions for PTD, because people can be affected by certain injuries and illnesses in different ways. As long as the condition prohibits someone from sustained work, he'll be considered permanently totally disabled.
Workers in this category cannot supplement their benefits by taking another type of job because doing so would mean they're not disabled.
Statutory permanent total disability is based on the loss of function a person experienced, rather than their ability to perform work functions. A worker will automatically qualify for statutory PTD benefits if he or she sustains an injury on the job that results in loss (amputation) or loss of use (paralysis) of:
- Both hands
- Both arms
- Both feet
- Both legs
- Blindness in both eyes
- Any two of the above (e.g., a hand and a foot)
These injuries are obviously serious and debilitating, and an individual should be compensated. However, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation recognizes these losses don't necessarily prevent someone from engaging in meaningful, gainful employment.
For example, a person who lost the use of both legs may use a wheelchair and perform many vocational and professional jobs. Under the statutory PTD rule, she may do just that. While being compensated for a tragic work accident, she can also continue to work and earn a salary.
These Can Be Complicated Claims
Every workers’ comp claim is unique and deserves careful consideration. If you suffered a disabling injury on the job, contact my office to discuss your situation with an experienced Ohio workers’ compensation attorney. Meanwhile, request a free copy of my book, The Worker’s Guide to Injury Compensation in Ohio. In it, you’ll find a wealth of helpful information about your rights as an injured worker.