Managing Workforce Disabilities

Did you know that one in four of today’s 20-year old workers would suffer from one type of disability before they retire at the age of 60? There are more than 30 million Americans today that are classified as disabled which is more or less 12% of the entire population and half of that percentage are aged between 18 to 64. At the end of 2012, five percent of the 8.8 million disabled wage earners are receiving Social Security Disability benefits. If you are qualified to receive disability benefits, it will help if you can learn more about the different disability classifications to determine what benefits you are entitled to receive. The worker’s health care provider would determine the extent of the disability of the injured worker.

You have Temporary Total Disability wherein a worker’s capacity to earn wages is completely lost but only on a temporary basis. Temporary Partial Disability on the other hand is when a worker’s wage earning capability is partially lost again, temporarily. Permanent Total Disability is when the wage earning capacity of a worker is totally and permanently lost. This type of compensation has no limits to the payable amount of weeks. As a matter of fact, you would often come across people that are receiving Permanent Total Disability benefits to continue with employment which is allowed so long as their wages, combined with the weekly disability payable do not exceed wage amounts that are set by law. So even if a worker is receiving disability benefits from the government, there are still employment opportunities that allow them to earn more money than what they receive on a weekly basis.

In the event that part of the worker’s wage earning capacity is lost permanently, the worker is qualified to receive Permanent Partial Disability. The severity of the disability is measured when the employee or the worker has reached his or her Maximum Medical Improvement or MMI which happens around a couple of years after the incident. There are also two types of Permanent Partial Disability: SLU, Schedule Loss of Use and Non-schedule. An SLU happens when a worker permanently loses the use of his or her lower extremities; upper extremities; eyesight or hearing. The compensation is determined by determining the body part that is affected by the body part that is affected by the disability and the schedule that is set by the law. On the other hand, Non-schedule is a form of permanent disability that is given for parts of the body affected by disability; the parts of the body that is not covered by the SLU benefit. The benefit is computed based on the worker’s permanent loss of hearing.