Californians who suffer a workplace injury that is severe enough to prevent them from returning to work might be able to get permanent disability (PD) through workers’ compensation. While it is preferable for a worker to recover well enough to get back to work, it does not always happen. If the treating doctor assesses the patient and says that he or she will not recover or is forever limited in the work they are able to perform, then the injured person might be able to receive PD.
It is not required for the person to have lost his or her job to get PD. It must also be remembered that if the person loses income due to PD, workers’ compensation might not cover all lost income. When maximum medical improvement (MMI) is reached, the treating doctor will write a “permanent and stationary” (P&S) report. This is important to a finding of PD. P&S is a juncture in the treatment where the person’s issues are not getting better, but not getting worse.
In the P&S report, the following will be described: the medical problems the person has incurred, including the amount of pain and how much movement he or she has in the injured body parts; work restrictions; medical care the individual might need in the future; the probability of the indivdiual returning to his or her previous job; and an estimation as to how much the job caused the disability compared to other possible factors. Once drafted, the P&S report is sent to the claims administrator.
An injured worker has the right to receive a copy of the P&S report. If the claimant disagrees with the P&S report, it can be challenged. Given the importance of the P&S report and how it factors into recovering PD benefits, people who were injured on the job and are seeking workers’ compensation benefits should be aware of it and how it works. For any issues related to the P&S report, it is essential to have assistance from a qualified workers’ compensation lawyer.
Source: dir.ca.gov, “Chapter 7. Permanent Disability Benefits — pages 31-32,” accessed on Sep. 4, 2017