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Total and Permanent Disability and Workers’ Compensation
King Law Firm – Board-Certified Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
Millions of people in the United States are injured at work every year. While many of these people eventually return to work, sadly, other injured employees will not be able to return to work in any capacity. If you sustain these kinds of injuries or illnesses from work, you may need to apply for Permanent Total Disability status with the Industrial Commission of North Carolina. A North Carolina workers’ compensation lawyer can help you get all the disability benefits to which you are entitled to help you through this difficult time.
What Kinds of Injuries Qualify as Permanent Total Disability?
Permanent Total Disability is a legal term that describes the status of a person’s ability to earn wages. In order to have this classification, a person must have injuries outlined in North Carolina General Statute §97-31(17) and no reasonable expectation of recovery. The qualifying injuries outlined in North Carolina law include:
- Loss of use in both of any of the following body parts: hands, arms, feet, legs, or eyes
- Loss of use in two of any combination of the body parts listed above
- Spinal injuries that leave someone without the use of both arms, both legs, or the person’s trunk
- Some severe brain and head injuries
- Second- or third-degree burns covering at least 33 percent of the surface of the body
If you sustained any of these permanent injuries while at work, you may be entitled to disability workers’ compensation benefits through your employer’s insurance.
How Much Are Permanent Total Disability Payments?
To determine how much you will earn through Permanent Total Disability, you must first determine your average weekly wage:
- Determine how much you made in the 52 weeks (one year) leading up to the injury
- Divide that total by 52 to get your average weekly wage
Total disability pays 2/3rds of that average weekly rate each week, up to the state’s maximum. You can calculate this by multiplying your average weekly wage by 0.6667. Permanent Total Disability payments may continue throughout your life. However, when you reach the age of retirement, the employer may reduce these benefits to 100 percent of the employee’s retirement benefits.
Workers’ Compensation for Teachers and Law Enforcement Officers
Employees of the State of North Carolina may be entitled to 100 percent of their previous salaries, rather than the 2/3rds that other workers get. This provision applies to law enforcement officers, teachers, and some other state employees. The full benefit may last up to two years. If the public employee remains injured after that time, he or she may apply for permanent total disability payments the same way private-sector workers do.
Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Consultation with a North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Attorney
When you apply for permanent total disability, you have to ensure that every detail is correct and filed properly. There’s no room for error with such high stakes. That’s why it’s vital to have experienced professionals on your side. As North Carolina workers’ compensation lawyers, we can help you navigate this confusing process to get you maximum benefits. Call us at (800) 635-1683 or email us through our website today to set up a consultation.
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Don’t Trust Your North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Case With Just Any Attorney.
Attorneys Ken and Leah King are Board Certified Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
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