Permanent Total Disability (PTD) Benefits
Rapid City Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
In South Dakota, employees who are injured on the job or while carrying out work-related activities may be entitled to workers’ compensation if their employers have elected to carry this type of coverage. Under workers’ compensation, injured employees can recover various benefits, including medical benefits and wage replacement benefits. In addition to temporary total disability (TTD) benefits, which compensate employees who are temporarily unable to work at all due to their injury or illness, some employees may be eligible for permanent total disability (PTD) benefits.
Continue reading to learn more about PTD benefits in South Dakota or call Beardsley, Jensen & Lee for help with your claim. Our Rapid City workers’ compensation attorneys have more than 100 years of collective experience and can help you navigate the claims filing process. We can also represent you if your claim is unjustly denied.
What Are Permanent Total Disability Benefits?
Permanent total disability (PTD) benefits are a type of wage replacement benefit available to covered employees who are permanently and totally disabled due to a work-related injury or occupational disease. To be entitled to PTD benefits, you will need to be covered by workers’ compensation, meaning your employer has elected this coverage. You will also need to have a qualifying condition that prevents you from working in any capacity; if your doctor determines that you are able to return to work or that you are able to perform light duty work, you will be ineligible for PTD benefits.
How Much Can You Get from Permanent Total Disability Benefits?
PTD benefits are paid according to specific guidelines set by South Dakota workers’ compensation laws. Payments are made for the entire duration of the employee’s disability, and cost of living adjustments are provided. However, because PTD benefits are so extensive, they are subject to review by the Department of Labor and Regulation.
Injured employees who are eligible for PTD benefits receive:
- 66 2/3% of their average weekly wage, or;
- A minimum payment of $299 per week (if the employee’s average weekly wage is less).
Additionally, South Dakota has a maximum payment of $597 per week (100% of the state’s average weekly wage) for PTD benefits.
Note: To be eligible for PTD benefits in South Dakota, you must receive an impairment rating of 100%, as determined by your treating physician. Your benefits will be calculated based on a variety of factors, including your impairment rating, your average weekly wage before being injured/becoming disabled, the duration of your disability, and more. In some cases, you may be able to receive a lump-sum payment, but PTD benefits are offset by Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. So, if you are receiving or hope to receive SSD benefits, this can impact your PTD payments.
What Other Workers’ Compensation Benefits Are Available?
It can be difficult to meet the state’s strict PTD benefits requirements, but this does not mean that you are not entitled to other workers’ compensation benefits.
In South Dakota, injured and/or disabled employees may also be entitled to the following benefits:
- Temporary Total Disability (TTD): If you are unable to work for at least seven consecutive days due to a work-related injury or illness, you could be entitled to TTD benefits. If your injury or illness prevents you from working for more than 20 days, you can also receive back-pay for the first seven days that you could not work. TTD benefits are paid at a rate of 66 2/3% your average weekly wages and can be collected until your doctor determines that you are able to return to work, either at full capacity or light duty.
- Permanent Partial Disability (PPD): If you suffer a permanent disability that affects your ability to work but does not prevent you from working entirely, you could be eligible for PPD benefits. You must have an injury listed on the state’s schedule of permanent partial disability injuries or a qualifying injury (“non-scheduled”). Scheduled and non-scheduled injuries have set “impairment ratings,” which are used to calculate your benefits.
- Medical Benefits: Employees who are covered by workers’ compensation in South Dakota are entitled to compensation for all related necessary and reasonable medical expenses. This includes emergency medical care costs, ongoing treatment, medications, and more. You are allowed to choose your own doctor for initial treatment, so be sure to notify your employer of your injury or illness right away.
- Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits: In most cases, eligible employees are entitled to vocational rehabilitation benefits in South Dakota. These benefits are provided to those who cannot return to their previous employment after a work-related injury or illness and cover services that are intended to help you return to light duty work or prepare for new employment.
Additionally, surviving spouses and/or dependents who lose loved ones to fatal workplace accidents could be entitled to death benefits under South Dakota’s workers’ compensation system. Death benefits include wage compensation, paid at a rate of 66 2/3% the decedent’s average weekly wages, either for life or in the form of a lump-sum payment equivalent to two years’ worth of wages. Death benefits also include up to $5,000 in funeral/burial expenses.
Work with a Legal Team with More Than 100 Years of Experience
Navigating the workers’ compensation system can be incredibly challenging, especially when you are already dealing with a serious injury or disability. Your focus should be on getting the right medical care so that you can learn to cope with new challenges in a meaningful way. You shouldn’t have to worry about paying for that treatment or keeping up with everyday expenses while you are out of work.
When you turn to Beardsley, Jensen & Lee, you can rely on our Rapid City workers’ compensation lawyers to guide you through each stage of the legal process. We have over a century of combined experience and work together as a team to provide powerful, results-driven solutions to our clients. Whether you need help filing your initial workers’ compensation claim or your claim has been denied, turn to our compassionate and aggressive team for the representation you need.