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Applying For Permanent Total Disability Benefits

Under the Florida Workers’ Compensation Act, an individual can qualify for permanent total disability (PTD) benefits if they can demonstrate that they are unable to engage in any type of employment within a 50-mile radius of their home as a result of injuries sustained in a workers’ compensation accident. This is a very strict, difficult standard to meet, particularly for individuals in fairly large metropolitan areas, with many job opportunities available. PTD is properly thought of as a combination of a claimant’s physical capabilities coupled with their vocational background.

Physical restrictions reference the individual’s residual capability to engage in certain types of physical activities. Vocational preparation refers to an individual’s age, educational background, past relevant work experience, and the transferability of any skills that they may have acquired in the course of their life to that point.

What You Can Expect After Qualifying For PTD

If an individual qualifies for PTD status, they are eligible for benefits through the age of 75. If they are injured after the age of 70, then total eligibility lasts for a period of five years. In addition to the standard PTD benefits, which is 66.33% of an individual’s average weekly wage, the individual also receives a 3% cost of living increase. This 3% cost of living increase continues until the individual reaches the age of 62.

Rules and laws pertaining to PTD benefits have changed dramatically over the years. The description of potential and eligible benefits described in the preceding paragraphs references only individuals injured only after 10/1/03. Different eligibility/entitlement rules pertain to injuries prior to 10/1/03.

Contact Us To Evaluate Your Case

Call Christopher J. Smith, P.A., in Tampa at 813-513-0327. You can also send us an email to schedule your free initial consultation. We have fought for the rights of injured workers in west-central Florida for more than three decades.