Permanent total disability is a situation where an injured worker is unable to perform reasonable forms of work activity following his or her work accident. In other words, the individual is incapable of sustaining even the most limited work activities, like doing a sit down job, as a result of his or her work injuries.
This type of disability takes into account the following about the injured worker:
Work Experience & Acquired Skills
Level of Education or Specialized Training (including Military Training)
Capacity to Function After Released from Medical Care
So basically, after taking into consideration the items listed above, if an injured worker no longer has the job on which he or she was injured, and if it is likely that without this job, the injured worker would have a hard time getting another available job that is regular and continuous, then he or she will likely be awarded permanent total disability benefits.
A vocational expert will most likely be called on to help make the permanent and total disability determination for the injured worker. A psychologist may also be needed to evaluate the worker’s state of mind.
The Indiana Worker’s Compensation Act indicated that when a worker’s injuries leave him or her with a permanent and total disability, then the injured worker is to receive either the amount payable for his or her impairment OR 500 weeks of lost wage compensation, whichever of the two totals up to be the greater amount. If you receive some TTD benefits and are later found to be permanently and totally disabled, the TTD benefits received up to that point will be subtracted from the 500 week total.