Written by attorney Mitchell Scott Sexner

Workers' Compensation Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)

In contrast to Temporary Total Disability (TTD) where the worker is unable to work at for a certain period of time but does eventually return to work, Permanent Partial Disability (as the name implies) is permanent in nature.

It refers to a worker who has either permanently lost complete or partial use of a part of his / her body, permanently lost partial use of his / her body as a whole, or permanently lost part of his / her body completely or partially.


The workers compensation benefits for a Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) differ widely from one case to another and they may result in lump sum payments for what is called a “schedule injury", disfigurement benefits or wage differential. It’s good to know that Permanent Partial Disability payments may be awarded sometimes for simple injuries such as a muscle strain as well.

Permanent Disability

Usually, when someone talks about a permanent disability, they think about someone who can’t lift anything or walk or may have lost a part of their body, so that they are completely unable to work at all.

These things most certainly are permanent disabilities and may result in what is referred to as a Permanent Total Disability (PTD) which is discussed in one of our other topics. But permanent partial disability can also include someone who may still be able to work, but is not as healthy or capable to work as prior to the accident or injury.

Percentages of Health

For instance, think of yourself as being 100% healthy prior to the injury. After you have finished surgery, therapy or other medical treatment, and your medical condition is simply not getting any better or worse, then we take a look at how healthy you are. Are you only 50% as healthy? 90%? 23%?

If you’re not still 100% as healthy as before and this condition is permanent, then this is called a permanent partial disability. Permanent Partial Disability rates can range from 1% to 99% and it is a complicated computation to determine what the injured worker’s rate actually is. Experienced workers compensation attorneys can help make this determination.

Generally, those workers with a low % rate are workers who can usually return to work but have limited range of motion, some residual pain or scarring. Those higher than 40% are usually workers who can’t return to their jobs because of the severity of the injury. Those over 70% usually not only can’t go back to their jobs, but probably won’t be able to find a job elsewhere either because of their disability.

Additional resources provided by the author

If you or a family member has suffered a accident or injury, we urge you to contact an experienced attorney. Such an attorney will carefully evaluate your case and explain the legal options available to you at no charge.

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