| Read Time: 4 minutes | Workers Compensation Law
permanent total disability benefits

An on-the-job injury can take you out of the workforce temporarily or for a lifetime. We hope you don’t get hurt at work, and if you do, we hope you fully recover. However, if your work injury has taken away your ability to maintain gainful employment, you could be entitled to permanent total disability benefits through the state’s workers’ compensation system. Obtaining these benefits is not as simple as walking up to your employer or the North Carolina Industrial Commission and asking for benefits after you receive news about your condition from your physician. Claiming workers’ compensation benefits includes many steps you typically must take as soon as you suffer a work injury. At Elliot Morgan Parsonage, we have the skills and experience to help you get all the benefits you deserve in a workers’ compensation claim. 

We have over 140 years of combined experience and multiple award-winning attorneys at our firm. Feel free to reach out either by giving us a call at (336) 724-2828 or contacting us online to book an appointment.

What Is Permanent Total Disability? 

In the workers’ compensation system, many injured workers receive benefits for temporary disability and permanent disability. Periods of temporary disability occur when a hurt employee is receiving treatment to improve their condition, and their condition renders them unable to work (either partially or totally). At some point during treatment, a workers’ compensation claimant reaches maximum medical improvement (MMI), meaning that their condition has become stable and is not likely to continue to improve with more treatment. If an employee is still limited after reaching MMI, that limitation is a permanent disability. Whether you have a permanent total disability (PTD) depends on the extent and location of your injury. 

An employee can receive permanent total disability benefits if their on-the-job injury results in one of the following impairments and renders them unable to return to suitable employment:

  • A spinal injury that causes severe paralysis of the trunk, both arms, or both legs; 
  • The loss of both arms, both legs, both hands, both feet, both eyes, or any two of the previously mentioned body parts; 
  • Second-degree or third-degree burns over at least 33% of the body; or
  • A severe brain or closed head injury that causes severe and permanent communication disturbances, neurological disorders, complex integrated disturbances of cerebral function, or sensory-motor disturbances. 

If you meet the above-listed permanent total disability requirements, you are entitled to receive a replacement of two-thirds of your wages and medical compensation for a lifetime.  

Claiming Permanent Total Disability Benefits

You must claim benefits for a permanent total disability by opening a workers’ compensation claim. A workers’ compensation claim is initiated by reporting your injuries to your employer within 30 days of suffering harm. Your notification needs to be oral and in writing. 

After reporting your injury to your employer, you must make sure that a Form 18, Notice of Accident to Employer and Claim of Employee, is filed with the North Carolina Industrial Commission within two years of suffering your injury. If you don’t file this form within the two-year limit, you could be barred from recovering any compensation or treatment at your employer’s expense.

After you timely provide notice to your employer and submit your claim to the North Carolina Industrial Commission, you can receive wage replacement benefits and medical treatment that is directed by your employer. If you reach MMI and retain a qualifying impairment that prevents you from working, you likely have a right to request permanent total disability benefits. 

Challenges to Benefits for a Permanent Total Disability

Employers’ insurance carriers pay for their workers’ compensation obligations, and insurance carriers are notorious for trying to find ways to deny benefits to deserving claimants. In a PTD case, an insurance carrier might try to avoid paying for your permanent total disability by proving that you are able to return to suitable work. Fighting these allegations from the insurance company may require a hearing and opinions from medical and vocational professionals. If you are facing a challenge with your request for PTD benefits, we can help. Our highly experienced attorneys at Elliot Morgan Parsonage know how to defeat workers’ compensation denials and maximize each client’s recovery. 

Elliot Morgan Parsonage Can Help

At Elliot Morgan Parsonage, our dedication lies in safeguarding the rights of workers. With a collective experience spanning over 140 years in the legal realm, we’ve earned accolades within the legal fraternity and garnered top-notch reviews from our clients. Our specialization revolves around addressing the individual requirements of each client, and customizing our services to fit the nuances of their case. No need to navigate your claim alone—our Workers’ Compensation Lawyers are here to champion your cause and fight for what you rightfully deserve.

At Elliot Morgan Parsonage, we are passionate about protecting the working person. Not only do we have over 140 years of combined experience in the legal field, but we are also award-winning practitioners who have received high honors from the legal community and top reviews from our clients. We focus on the specific needs of every client who comes through our door, and we tailor our services to the unique details of their case. You don’t have to fight for what you deserve on your own. We can fight for you. Our Workers’ Compensation Lawyers are here to champion your cause and fight for what you rightfully deserve.Please contact us online or call us at (336) 724-2828 to schedule an appointment.

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Michael provides compassionate, diligent, and creative legal services that are tailored to meet each client’s specific needs. His experience relating to clients from diverse backgrounds makes him well suited for representing his clients across a broad range of legal areas. He practices in the areas of employment law and family law, and is experienced in criminal law.

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