Permanent Partial Disability or “PPD” is one of the most misunderstood aspects of Ohio workers’ compensation. For a more comprehensive and general discussion of PPD click here. This article will attempt to explain how a PPD award is calculated.
Partial Disability compensation paid pursuant to R.C. § 4123.57(A). It is paid out as a percentage of whole person impairment. A one-hundred percent impairment is reserved for total incapacitation (think laying comatose in a hospital bed). Obviously, most injuries are far closer to 0% than they are 100%. Once that percentage is established (usually at a hearing) the injured worker receives compensation pursuant to the statute. Easy right? Wrong.
The statute is incomprehensible. I will not, therefore, refer to its’ text. Instead, I will use plain and simple language to explain how PPD is awarded. For each percentage point of disability, the injured worker receives two weeks of compensation at his or her average weekly wage at the time of injury. That is, of course, UNLESS the average weekly wage is greater than one-third of the average weekly wage for employees statewide. Unless you earned very little at the time of your injury, you are likely to get two weeks at the maximum rate for your year of injury. Those figures can be located by clicking here (and find the column entitled %PP maximum for your own year of injury).
In most instances the injured workers receives the maximum rate. This is usually far lower than their own average weekly wage. Why is this so? The short answer: because the legislature of the State of Ohio says it is so. There is no rhyme or reason other than our legislature feels that the victims of on-the-job injuries should receive this limited sum for any permanently disabling effects of a work-related injury.
Another reason to vote every November.