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Posted on Thursday, April 25th, 2024 at 1:46 am    

What Are the Different Types of Permanent Partial Disability_ image

Have you suffered an injury or medical impairment that affects your ability to work but has not prevented you from doing so entirely? If so, you could be entitled to partial disability benefits, provided you have disability insurance through your employer or because you purchased it yourself. These benefits pay a percentage of your missing income, helping you make ends meet while your impairment affects your ability to earn a living. Let’s explore the different types of permanent partial disability benefits you could be entitled to.

What Is Partial Disability?

Disability insurance is a type of insurance that pays benefits to a policyholder whose ability to work is affected by a medical impairment. Disability benefits typically cover a percentage of the income the worker has lost. While specific terms vary greatly from policy to policy, many will provide limited benefits if the policyholder becomes partially disabled, meaning they can still work to some degree, but their ability to do so is limited by their impairment. In these cases, partial disability may pay a portion of the difference between what the worker used to earn and what they are currently able to earn while working part-time.

Disability insurance comes in two general types: short-term and long-term policies. Short-term disability (STD) policies generally cover a few months of disability, generally up to six months or a year – enough to help workers while they recover. Long-term disability (LTD) policies, on the other hand, can last for years, potentially even for life, covering workers who’ve suffered permanently impairing injuries or medical conditions. Short-term disability policies typically kick in within a few weeks of the worker developing a disabling condition, whereas long-term disability policies may not trigger until a worker has been disabled for several months.

Own-Occupation Permanent Partial Disability

Different disability insurance policies take different approaches to what they will cover. One definition is “own occupation,” which means a policy pays benefits if a worker is unable to perform their normal job duties. Partial own-occupation disability insurance would kick in if a worker can still do their job in a partial or part-time capacity, but can no longer do it full-time.

Here’s an example to illustrate this definition of disability. A surgeon develops a medical condition that affects her circulation, making it impossible for her to stand for hours at a time. While she can still perform relatively simple procedures, she can no longer stand long enough to complete more complex ones. As such, she might be entitled to draw partial own-occupation disability to make up a portion of the difference between her pre- and post-diagnosis salaries.

Any-Occupation Partial Disability

Another definition of disability used in many policies is “any occupation.” These policies only kick in if the policyholder is prevented from doing any kind of work because of their impairment. To illustrate this concept, let’s return to the surgeon in our earlier example. Because she is still able to work in some capacity, the surgeon cannot draw the full percentage of the benefits from an any-occupation policy. However, if her condition is serious enough to prevent her from working full-time in any capacity, she might be entitled to a partial permanent benefit.

Pros and Cons to Consider

What Are the Different Types of Permanent Partial Disability_ image 2As you can see, long-term own-occupation disability policies provide more robust coverage than any-occupation policies do. However, the downside is that own-occupation policies tend to have higher premiums compared to any-occupation policies. This is because the insurance company is exposed to a greater risk of having to pay out, which it defrays by charging a higher premium.

The main advantage of any-occupation policies is their affordability – they generally have lower premiums than own-occupation policies. However, the trade-off is the potential difficulty in qualifying for benefits, which could leave individuals without support if they’re unable to perform their specific job but can still work in another capacity.

Contact Our Disability Insurance Lawyers

Have you suffered a medical impairment that prevents you from earning a living? If you’re covered by disability insurance, you could be entitled to benefits for the income you can no longer earn. Unfortunately, insurance companies are for-profit businesses, and they’d prefer not to pay you the full value of your claim if they can avoid it. Don’t take a rejection or low payout lying down – fight back with the help of Capitan Law. Our Philadelphia disability insurance attorneys can help you demand the benefits to which you’re entitled. Call (267) 419-7888 or contact us online for a free consultation, and let’s get started on your claim today.

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