Permanent total disability or “PTD” is a wage loss benefit paid to an injured worker whose injuries are so extensive that he or she is unable to find meaningful gainful employment. A judge at a hearing will determine whether or not an injured worker is permanently totally disabled. Typically, even if an injured worker has admitted extensive injuries, the insurance company will not acknowledge that the injured worker is PTD.
First, in order to qualify for PTD in Minnesota, for injuries occurring on or after October 1, 1995, the injured worker must establish a minimum Permanent Partial Disability or PPD rating. Generally the minimum PPD threshold is 17%, but the court also looks at other factors such as the injured worker’s age and education level. The less formal education an injured worker has received and the older the injured worker is, the lower the PPD rating the injured worker must establish. While certain medical conditions automatically qualify an injured worker for PTD benefits, such as complete loss of sight, loss of both arms, and paralysis. It’s also important to note that if an injured worker’s injury occurred prior to October 1, 1995 he or she may still be entitled to PTD benefit; however, the controlling law is slightly different. In Minnesota work comp the law in effect on the date of the employee’s injury controls the employee’s entitlement to benefits.