When a worker is injured or becomes ill as a result of her employment in Indiana, she is entitled to workers' compensation benefits. At some point a determination will be made regarding the workers' permanent condition. If she is found to have a permanent partial impairment or found to be permanently totally disabled then she is entitled to a settlement award. How the settlement is calculated will depend on the extent of the impairment. The Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) will make the determination regarding the extent of the impairment.
Permanent Partial Impairment
Locate your permanent partial impairment (PPI) rating. This is the percent of your body that the WCB determined is permanently impaired. The PPI rating should be on correspondence sent to you by the WCB. If not, contact your doctor.
Check the current value of PPI ratings. The current value can be located in the Indiana Code or by checking with your attorney or another reputable source. As of publication, values were as follows: $1,400 for a PPI of 1 to 10 percent; $1,600 for a PPI of 11 to 35 percent; $2,700 for a PPI of 35 to 50 percent; and $3,500 for a PPI of 51 to 100 percent.
Multiply your PPI rating by the value associated with the percentage. For example, if your PPI rating is 20 percent then you would multiply 20 by $1,600 for a total of $32,000. The result is your permanent partial impairment award.
Permanent Total Disability
Calculate your average weekly wage. This is usually calculated by taking your total wages for the 52 weeks prior to the date of your injury or illness and dividing by 52, or by the number of weeks you actually worked if you did not work the entire 52 weeks.
Multiply your average weekly wage by 66-2/3 percent, or 0.667. The result is your weekly benefit amount. This should be the amount of weekly benefits you have been receiving while your case is pending.
Multiply your weekly benefit amount by 500. The result is the amount of your permanent total disability award.
You have the right to challenge the impairment rating made by the WCB. You will have to pay an independent doctor to evaluate you. If it results in a higher impairment rating then your award will be higher.
Consider obtaining the services of an attorney if you have a significant impairment or are considered permanently totally disabled.