More often than not, those with workers’ comp claims in Vermont recover and are able to return to work eventually. However, those who do not could be entitled to permanent total disability, or PTD, benefits. It may be difficult to determine if you are permanently disabled and how to prove it to your employer’s insurance company, along with the Vermont Department of Labor.
There are specific injuries that one can sustain that the state of Vermont immediately considers as being permanently disabled. This includes losing both hands or feet (or one of each), the loss of sight in both eyes, severe/permanent TBI’s, and paralysis. See 21 V.S.A. 644 for further details of these injuries. When it comes to other injuries, you need to be able to prove that your injury has made you incapable of performing regular, gainful work. In order to determine this, the Vermont Department of Labor will take into consideration your pain, mental and physical limitations, age, education, training, current occupation and overall mental capacity. It is also likely that you will need to show that you have attempted/exhausted vocational rehabilitation opportunities in order to show that you are not able to work regularly and gainfully. You will also, most likely, need to undergo a Functional Capacity Evaluation to determine your overall physical capabilities.
Will Insurance Fight It?
Yes, there are many steps that you have to take in order to be determined as permanently totally disabled in Vermont, but it’s worth it to secure benefits into the future. It’s very unlikely that the insurance carrier will just accept it and payout the PTD benefits for the minimum 330 weeks (most likely for the rest of your life, however). Instead, they’ll most likely hire their own experts and attempt to convince the department of labor that you are not permanently and totally disabled. An experienced workers’ comp attorney in Vermont can help ensure you’re able to receive the benefits you’re entitled to, so give us a call today for help with your PTD claim.