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I Have Permanent Physical Restrictions: What Will Workers' Comp Do for Me?

Posted by James Aspell | Feb 28, 2024 | 0 Comments

Navigating the aftermath of a workplace injury that leads to permanent physical restrictions can be a daunting process. Understanding your rights and the benefits available to you through workers' compensation is crucial in ensuring you receive the support and compensation you deserve. This article delves into the intricacies of workers' compensation for individuals with permanent physical limitations, providing a comprehensive guide to help you navigate this challenging time.

legs in a wheelchair and two white dogs

Understanding Workers' Compensation

Workers' compensation is a form of insurance providing wage replacement and medical benefits to employees injured in the course of employment. It's designed to help workers recover from their injuries without the financial burden of medical bills and lost wages. However, when injuries lead to permanent physical restrictions, the situation becomes more complex.

Eligibility for Workers' Compensation

To be eligible for workers' compensation benefits, you must meet specific criteria:

  • You must be an employee.
  • Your employer must carry workers' comp insurance.
  • Your injury or illness must be work-related.

Types of Workers' Compensation Benefits

Workers' compensation offers various benefits, including:

  • Medical benefits for treatment related to your work injury.
  • Disability benefits to compensate for lost wages.
  • Rehabilitation benefits to help you return to work.
  • Death benefits for the dependents of workers who die from their injuries.

Permanent Physical Restrictions and Workers' Compensation

When an injury results in permanent physical restrictions, workers' compensation plays a critical role in providing long-term support.

Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)

If your injury doesn't completely disable you but still results in permanent restrictions, you may be eligible for PPD benefits. These benefits are determined based on the severity of your impairment and its impact on your ability to earn a living.  

Permanent Total Disability (PTD)

In cases where an injury prevents you from returning to any kind of gainful employment, you may qualify for PTD benefits. PTD benefits typically provide a portion of your wages for the rest of your life or for a set number of years. In Connecticut, where I practice, these cases are very difficult to win and one should not reasonably expect workers comp to continue payments for life.

The Claims Process

Filing a claim for workers' compensation can be intricate. Here's a simplified overview:

  1. Report the Injury: Notify your employer about the injury as soon as possible.
  2. Seek Medical Attention: Obtain medical treatment and ensure your condition is documented.
  3. File a Claim: Submit a workers' compensation claim through your employer or directly to their insurance company.
  4. Claim Evaluation: The insurance company will review your claim to determine eligibility and benefits.
  5. Receive Benefits: If approved, you'll start receiving benefits based on your injury and its long-term effects.

Navigating Challenges

Disputes and Appeals

Disputes over workers' comp claims are not uncommon. If your claim is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. The appeals process varies by state but typically involves filing a formal appeal and possibly attending a hearing.

Seeking Legal Advice

Consulting with an experienced workers' compensation attorney can be invaluable. An attorney can guide you through the claims process, represent you in appeals, and ensure you receive the maximum benefits you're entitled to.

Maximizing Your Workers' Comp Benefits

To ensure you receive the benefits you deserve, follow these tips:

  • Keep detailed records of your medical treatments and expenses.
  • Stay in communication with your employer and their insurance company.
  • Follow all prescribed medical advice and attend all appointments.
  • Consider vocational rehabilitation if it's offered and appropriate for your situation.


Dealing with permanent physical restrictions due to a workplace injury is a significant challenge. However, understanding your rights and the benefits available through workers' compensation can make a substantial difference in your recovery and financial stability. By following the proper steps and seeking the right support, you can navigate the workers' compensation system effectively and secure the benefits you rightfully deserve.


Can I return to work with permanent restrictions?

Yes, many individuals return to work with modifications or in different roles that accommodate their physical limitations.

How long do workers' comp benefits last?

The duration of benefits varies depending on the nature of your disability and the laws in your state. PTD benefits may continue for life, while PPD benefits might be for a set period.

Can I see my own doctor for a workers' comp injury?

This varies by state. Some states allow you to see your doctor, while others require you to see a doctor approved by the workers' comp insurance.

What if my injury worsens over time?

If your condition deteriorates, you may be eligible for additional benefits. It's crucial to report any changes in your condition to your employer or their insurance company.

Can I receive workers' comp if I'm at fault for my injury?

Generally, yes. Workers' comp is a no-fault system, meaning you can receive benefits


About the Author

James Aspell

Principal since August 1, 2006 James F. Aspell is the principal and managing attorney of the firm which he started in 2006 following 20 years of litigation practice in a mid -size firm in Hartford, Connecticut. Jim focuses his practice in the areas of worker's compensation and personal injury l...


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