The difference between temporary and permanent disability

Getting hurt on the job can mean that you need to take time off to heal. Some injuries will eventually get better provided that the people suffering from them receive adequate care and follow medical advice. There are other people who may do everything their doctor orders who do not get better over time.

You can get hurt at just about any job, and the severity of your injuries and how they impact your life will vary depending on your age, health and many other factors. What could be a permanently disabling injury for some people may only cause temporary disability in others, which is one reason that workers' compensation offers more than one kind of disability benefit.

Learning more about how California workers' compensation insurance differentiates between temporary and permanent disability can help you connect with the benefits you need after getting hurt on the job.

With the exception of catastrophic injuries, most injuries require temporary aid

Temporary disability benefits help protect you and your loved ones from the financial devastation that often follows a major injury. It can be difficult for your family to adjust to the loss of income that a workplace injury causes, to say nothing of the medical expenses you may have to cover.

When an injury prevents someone from working or caring for themselves but should eventually heal, workers can apply for temporary disability benefits. These benefits can last for up to 104 weeks from your first benefit check. Alternatively, when you return to work, the benefits will end then even if you return to work earlier than two years after your injury.

Sometimes, workers who think they will only require temporary benefit discover that their convalescence does not go as smoothly as they had hoped, resulting in a need for permanent disability benefits.

You can apply for permanent disability when your prognosis changes

Sometimes, people experience surprising symptoms or complications after an injury that could exacerbate its impact on their health and lives. For example, what originally seems like a clean fracture to your arm could also result in nerve damage, resulting in a permanent disability such as chronic regional pain syndrome. A head injury that initially seems manageable can continue to produce new and worse symptoms as pressure and bruising on the brain increases.

Just because you have already applied for temporary benefits doesn't mean you can't also seek permanent benefits, especially if you still can't work and your temporary benefits will soon expire. You may have to attend a hearing or collect and provide evidence documenting how your condition or needs have changed.

Any workers' compensation case that requires additional filings or hearings may be situations in which you will benefit from having legal representation. Instead of attempting to push forward on your own, it often makes sense to work with an attorney who can improve your likelihood of securing the right benefits.

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