What Are Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) Awards?

April 10, 2023


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Permanent partial disability settlement a man with a personal injury finally gets some legal representation

As one of the three main types of L&I settlements, a permanent partial disability (PPD) award is a designation that can help you obtain money due to a work-related injury. Specifically, a PPD award is the result of an L&I claim where the claimant is able to eventually return to work.

For many L&I attorneys, the best settlement option for those who will eventually return to work is a PPD. As for how much money you can expect to get, that depends on when your injury occurred, how serious it is, and whether there are any liens on your claim. The all-important disability rating comes from a medical professional, though you should be wary if your employer schedules or offers a health review of their own — they could be trying to manipulate your claim. For this reason and others, it’s best to get the medical opinion of a trusted third-party doctor, as well as the guidance of an L&I attorney in Seattle, Washington.

How Much Money Can I Get In A Permanent Partial Disability Award?

The amount of a Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) award depends on a number of factors, including the date of your injury and the severity of your disability.

  • The date of injury matters because L&I increases the amount of money paid for disabilities each year. The monetary settlement amount can be found in L&I’s Permanent Partial Disability schedules, and it should be calculated based on the date of your injury.
  • L&I determines the “seriousness” of a disability based on disability ratings. Your PPD rating is established by medical professionals, usually an IME physicianor your personal doctor. A rating may be changed by switching your medical examiner.

How Are PPD Awards Paid?

If you are awarded a PPD award, the amount will determine whether you are paid in a lump sum or monthly payments.

Smaller Permanent Partial Disability settlements are paid as a lump sum. If the award is less than three times Washington State’s average monthly wage (at the time of injury), you will receive a check in that amount.

Medium-to-large settlements are paid out in a lump sum and time-based payments. If a settlement is more than three times the average monthly wage in Washington State at the time of injury, a down payment of that amount is made. The remainder of the settlement is then disbursed in monthly installments based on your time loss compensation (at the time your claim closed).

When your PPD award is closed, the first payment must be paid within five working days of closure (from a self-insured employer) or without any delay, if the L&I department is the one who closed your claim.

L&I PPD Schedule Of Awards

The PPD Schedule of Awards breaks down potential settlement amounts based on body system category, category rating (1-9), and the percentage of total body impairment (TBI). You can view the current Permanent Partial Disability Category Awards for 2022-2023 here. Remember that this information may be confusing since it was written for doctors, lawyers, and judges. An experienced L&I lawyer, like those at Emery Reddy, can help you understand the award schedule and how it could impact your workers’ comp PPD.

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