How Much Does Wisconsin Workers’ Compensation Permanent Partial Disability Pay?
It is only natural that the first question in your mind if you are injured on the job is, how much will worker’s compensation pay me for this? In most cases, the answer usually is pretty straightforward. You will receive a well-defined amount for the time you miss at work, subject to conditions in the law such as a waiting period. Your medical bills will be fully reimbursed under most circumstances.
If you return to work, but still are not at 100 percent, but the condition is temporary and will heal, you will receive temporary partial disability payments if your hours or pay are cut as a result of the condition until you fully heal. But how is permanent partial disability determined?
Partial Disability Payments Have A Schedule For Amounts
Permanent partial disability payments operate on the same schedule for determining amounts. The Worker’s Compensation Settlement Chart sets forth the maximum weekly wages upon which benefits can be based. The chart is used with respect to permanent disability and temporary disability, full or partial, as well as most other workers’ compensation payments. Medical reimbursement payments are not based on your wages, being based instead on the actual amounts of your medical payments. In the absence of a dispute, your medical expenses are paid or reimbursed in full.
In addition to the settlement chart, when it comes to making compensation payment decisions, the worker’s compensation system has a number of other guidelines, as well. For instance, the extent of your disability as a result of your work injury, whether it is deemed temporary or permanent, is determined by your doctor.
The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, which has overall responsibility for administering the worker’s compensation system, has a number of guides and publications to help health care providers with disability decisions. One of these guides consists of detailed instructions for physicians to use in determining the extent of the disability as a percentage of unimpaired use of the particular body area injured. The guide covers injury to every body part you can imagine, with instructions for determining the percentage of disability based on the loss of use or range of motion suffered in the affected body part or area.
Calculating Permanent Partial Disability Is A Pretty Straightforward Process
Wisconsin worker’s compensation law is pretty detailed about the amount to be paid in benefits, including for permanent partial disability. With a few pieces of information, it is pretty easy to calculate how much money you should receive for your injury. Unless you make a very small amount of money, your benefits will be based on a rate for the year of your injury. That rate for the year of your injury is found in the Settlement Chart.
In Wisconsin, each body part is worth a set amount of weeks of compensation. Those amounts are set by Statute.
Your physician will determine the extent of your permanent disability, expressed as a percentage of loss, according to state worker’s comp guidelines. After that, your permanent partial disability benefit payment is calculated based on the number that benefits would be paid for full permanent disability.
The number of weeks varies depending upon the location of the injury. For example, if you suffered an injury to a knee, and your physician determined that you had a permanent partial disability of 20 percent in that knee, you would receive 20 percent of the benefit for full permanent disability. The full benefit is 425 weeks of payments at the maximum amount of $362 for an injury in 2021. That means you would receive 85 weeks of payments at the rate of $362 per week.
However, permanent disability payments are not made in a lump sum, nor are they paid out at the maximum weekly rate of $362. You are paid $1,568.67 every month until the full scheduled amount of your benefit has been paid. In the case of the knee injury described here, your total benefit for your permanent partial disability would be $30,770. You would receive payments of $1,568.67 for 21 months, with a slightly smaller payment in the 22nd month completing payment of the total amount due.
For instance, losing your arm to an accidental amputation at the shoulder would get you an amount equal to 500 weeks of benefit payments. If you injured your shoulder, you would get an amount equal to a percentage of 500 weeks of benefits.
If you suffered a permanent 10 percent loss of the use of your shoulder, you would receive benefits equaling 50 weeks of benefits payments. For a permanent disability to a body part, you don’t get a lump sum. Instead, you are paid monthly until the full amount of the scheduled benefit has been paid.
The number of weeks of benefits used to calculate your permanent partial disability payment varies depending upon the body part injured. For instance, if you lose a finger, the maximum for the total loss of function ranges from 160 weeks for a thumb to 28 weeks for your pinkie or little finger. The difference reflects the perceived value of the particular finger. You can do a lot of things without a pinkie finger, but your thumb is pretty critical.
Those differences carry over to other body parts, as well, such as toes, legs, and arms. Losing complete use of your arm at the shoulder is worth 500 weeks of benefits while losing complete use of your arm at the wrist pays an amount equal to 400 weeks of benefits.
Toes get no respect. In fact, losing the use of a big toe completely is worth only 83-1/3 weeks of benefits, while losing a pinkie toe gets you only payments equal to 20 weeks of benefits. For a partial disability, these total amounts are reduced to the percentage of your loss of function of the body part you injured.
If You Get Hurt At Work In Wisconsin, Talk To A Milwaukee Work Injury Attorney
If you suffer an injury at work in Wisconsin that results in a permanent partial disability, you should talk to a worker’s compensation injury attorney to be sure you receive all the benefits to which you are entitled. The Wisconsin worker’s compensation lawyers of Gillick, Wicht, Gillick & Graf are ready to defend our clients’ rights, wherever you live in Wisconsin.
If you have been hurt at work, contact the worker’s compensation injury attorneys of Gillick, Wicht, Gillick & Graf. We’ll evaluate your case for no cost and no obligation. We work from our Milwaukee office but handle cases for injured employees all over Wisconsin.