Kantrovitz & Associates is an established leader in Massachusetts workers’ compensation law. For over almost 30 years, our seasoned lawyers have helped countless injured workers recover benefits for partial disability. At Kantrovitz & Associates, we know that an injury that limits your ability to work, however minor, is a big deal. That is why we are dedicated to obtaining benefits for injured employees across Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire.
Partial Disability Benefits
Unlike total disability, “partial disability” refers to an injury that still allows the employee to work, but at a lower earning capacity. Reduced earning capacity may be caused by the employee having to change to another job, work at a lower wage, or log fewer hours. Partial disability benefits are subject to guidelines including:
- Maximum duration of 260 weeks or 5 years
- In some cases, can be extended to 520 weeks
- Requires permanent loss of 75 percent or more of bodily function or sense
- Determination of permanent life-threatening physical condition
- Contracted permanently disabling occupational disease
- Combined total and partial disability benefits
- Where no finding of permanent impairment
- Cannot exceed 364 weeks or 7 years
The evaluating physician will determine the nature of the disability according to standards set forth by the American Medical Association. Any extension of benefits requires the approval of the workers’ compensation insurance company or a finding by an administrative judge.
Calculation of Partial Disability Benefits
The rate for partial disability benefits is determined by the worker’s average weekly wage. However, the rate cannot exceed 75 percent of the worker’s temporary total disability rate, which is 60 percent of the weekly wage. So if an employee’s average weekly wage is $700, the temporary total disability rate would be .60 x 700 or $420. As such, partial disability benefits will be calculated by multiplying this amount by .75 or $315. Nevertheless, the judge can set the rate between zero and the 75 percent maximum based upon the judge’s determination of the worker’s post-injury earning capacity.
Guideline to Lost Function Caused by Partial Disability
An extension of partial disability benefits requires a showing that the worker has permanently lost 75 percent or more of any bodily function or sense. Possible conditions include:
- Spinal injury (dorsal, lumbar, sacral regions)
- Total loss of spinal function
- Damage to cervical spine
- Loss of one lung or kidney
- Lost equilibrium, ability to stand
In addition to physical disability, other impacted functions or senses may include:
- Urinary or bowel function
- Language comprehension
- Lost sexual function
- Taste or smell
Permanent conditions meriting extended benefits may include terminal conditions such as cancer, lymphoma, or autoimmune disease. Occupational diseases such as asbestosis, miner’s lung, and certain cognitive disorders may also qualify for an extension.
Recover Partial Disability Benefits Today
If you believe you qualify for partial disability benefits, contact the Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorneys at Kantrovitz & Associates today. We strive to secure relief for you as soon as possible, and work to gather the evidence required to prove your claim. For over almost 30 years, we have helped injured workers obtain partial disability benefits and extensions, whether upon filing or appeal. We are proud to represent workers in Boston, Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Suffolk, Plymouth, and Merrimack Valley. Let us help you recover the compensation you deserve. For a free consultation, call (800) 367-0871 or contact us online.