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Permanent total disability (PTD) is payable to employees who are never able to return to gainful employment. The PTD rate is two-thirds of an employee's gross weekly wage at the time of the injury, subject to the same maximum weekly compensation for temporary total disability (TTD) and a minimum PTD rate equal to 65 percent of the statewide average weekly wage. In addition, if an employee was a part-time worker, the compensation is computed based upon a normal workweek for that occupation. PTD benefits are paid when the injury or disease results in:  the total and permanent loss of sight of both eyes; the loss of both arms at the shoulder; the loss of both legs so close to the hips that no artificial members can be used; complete and permanent paralysis; and/or total and permanent loss of mental faculties.

For injuries after Oct. 1, 1995, you can also seek PTD benefits if your injury totally incapacitates you from working at an occupation and you fit within one of these three categories:

  • must have a 17 percent permanent partial disability (PPD) rating of the whole body;

  • must have a 15 percent PPD rating of the whole body and be at least 50 years old at the time of the injury; or

  • must have a 13 percent PPD rating, be at least 55 years old at the time of the injury and have not completed the 12th grade or obtained a GED certificate.

Reduction of PTD benefits

When an insurer has paid $25,000 in PTD benefits to the employee, the weekly workers’ compensation benefits can be reduced by the amount of disability benefits being paid in Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.