When a Workplace Injury Prevents an Employee From Returning Fully to the Job, Permanent Partial Disability Can Help

Leaving a job that supports a family and offers personal satisfaction is never easy. When that departure is the result of a workplace injury or illness, it may seem especially difficult. Often, on-the-job injuries leave an employee unable to return to work in the same capacity as before the injury. But permanent partial disability can help him maintain employment while keeping a paycheck whole.

What Is a Permanent Partial Disability?

Permanent partial disability exists to bridge the gap between an employee’s pre-injury wage and the lower, post-injury wage he earns after a workplace injury or illness. In these cases, an employee returns to work after an injury but may not be able to perform all of his former duties. This may result in a different job that does not pay as much as the previous position.

A permanent partial disability is defined as an illness or injury that causes the loss of an organ or body part that is permanent, yet still allows a person to work. In Delaware, these losses are divided into two categories:

  • Scheduled. Scheduled losses include fingers, legs, arms, hands, or eyes.
  • Nonscheduled. Nonscheduled losses involve body parts such as lungs, kidneys, heart, or back.

Compensation for Permanent Partial Disability

A person who suffers a permanent partial disability at work may be entitled to submit a workers’ compensation claim with his employer. The employer will typically work through a compensation insurer to protect the company financially. This compensation system provides a set schedule for injuries sustained at work and defines a certain amount of financial compensation for the worker. Delaware law mandates specific limits for payment terms, and an employee is typically entitled to two-thirds of the pre-injury average weekly wage.

If you or someone you love suffered a workplace illness or injury that resulted in a permanent injury, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation. Learn more about workers’ compensation by watching one of our videos online.