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Dawn Atkin

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Permanent Partial Disability benefits are compensation for the permanent impairment rating provided by the doctor at Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI).  Visit our topic on Impairment Ratings to read more about ratings.

When the doctor submits the impairment rating report to the adjuster, payments for temporary total disability should end and payments for permanent partial disability should begin.  Unfortunately, many adjusters insist on completing the Permanent Partial Disability Form before PPD payments begin.  This is not appropriate.  Adjusters have no right to delay payments, but there is also no penalty imposed for them doing so.  Therefore, the best solution is to review the agreement and sign, if appropriate, and return it as quickly as possible.

A Permanent Partial Disability Agreement is not a settlement and it is not the end of your case.  On the contrary, the permanent impairment rating means there is a permanent injury and lifetime medical coverage is triggered.  The Agreement is designed to document the benefits paid so far.  It is filed with the Labor Commission to help the state keep statistics on injured workers.  The courts have found that the agreement is not binding, however, no document should ever be signed if you do not agree it is correct.  The portions of the agreement that outline the temporary total, temporary partial benefits and medical expenses paid to date are not much of a concern because they are simply totals of the payments made so far.  But the paragraph about Permanent Partial Disability is more precise and should be examined.  Specifically:

Based on your doctor's medical opinion:

1.  Is the MMI date correct?

2.  Is the impairment rating correct?

3.  Is the benefit rate correct?  It should be the same as your TTD benefit rate (2/3 of your wage at the time of the injury) unless you hit the maximum rate for PPD.  note:  There is a lower maximum for PPD than for TTD.  You can check your maximum here: http://laborcommission.utah.gov/media/pdfs/industrialaccidents/pubs/2013%20QUICK%20REFERENCE%20GRID.pdf0

You can then use this information to double check the math.  312 X Whole Person Impairment Rating = the number of weeks of benefits owed.  Payments start as of MMI and are due monthly until the total number of weeks have been paid.

Of course, there is a far easier way to check the math.  Call us at 801 521-2552 and we will review the PPD Agreement at no charge.   

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K. Dawn Atkin
Attorney with Atkin & Associates
(801) 521-2552
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