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Permanent Versus Temporary Disability

Permanent Versus Temporary Disability

If you’re unable to return to work due to injuries suffered on the job, you deserve some form of compensation. Workers’ compensation typically provides coverage for necessary medical treatment and compensation for lost wages. However, qualification for workers’ compensation benefits are determined by the status and classification of your injury, and the type of disability insurance your employer has through its insurance company.


If you have suffered a short-term disability or a long-term disability and you have questions about whether or not you meet eligibility requirements for social security disability payments, you want to speak to a skilled workers’ compensation lawyer that fights to ensure that your injury is accurately classified when you make a disability claim. Additionally, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney may be able to increase your compensation by helping to get your injury classification status changed after the fact. If you are on partial disability status and a doctor determines that your impairment is at least 50 percent, a lawyer can help you file a petition for total disability status and increase your benefits considerably to provide much-needed compensation for medical bills, insurance bills, and any out of pocket costs you might incur.

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PA and South Jersey Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Craig A. Altman Fights to Get You Permanent or Temporary Disability Benefits

If you’ve suffered an on-the-job injury in Philadelphia, PA, Cherry Hill, NJ, or any surrounding counties, you want a skilled workers’ compensation lawyer on your side when you need to sue your employer. Contact the Law Firm of Craig A. Altman for experienced representation for all of your short-term disability insurance disputes, temporary disability insurance claim issues, and social security disability benefits questions you might have. Our team of attorneys is well versed in the healthcare and human resources runarounds that many injured workers face after having to apply for an SSI or SSDI claim.

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According to the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, workers’ compensation in both the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the state of New Jersey typically covers an injured worker’s necessary and reasonable medical treatment, prescriptions, and hospital services through their disability programs. Qualifying for disability benefits contains slight differences due to state laws. However, future benefits vary depending on the type and severity of the injury sustained. There are differences between temporary disability status and permanent disability:

  • Temporary partial disability benefits – A worker who is injured on the job in either Pennsylvania or New Jersey is typically entitled to receive compensation from short-term disability benefits until they are able to return to their original work position. An independent doctor with proper medical certification chosen by the recent employer or the employer’s insurance company will usually make a determination about when the injured worker is healthy enough to return to work. If you are assigned a lower-paying job when you return to work, you are still eligible for benefits equivalent to two-thirds of the difference in pay.
  • Permanent partial disability benefits – A worker who is permanently disabled because of a work-related injury is eligible for workers’ comp benefits, with the benefit amount depending on the extent of the injury and the individual’s functional loss. In New Jersey, state plan indicates that the area of the affected injury determines the level of benefits. In Pennsylvania, if a doctor determines that the worker is less than 50 percent impaired according to American Medical Association standards, the worker’s injury will be classified as “partial disability.” PA law allows workers’ to recover two-thirds of the difference in wages if they suffer a partial disability and are unable to perform the same job they had prior to the injury.
  • Temporary total disability benefits – If you are temporarily unable to work as a result of your injury, workers’ compensation benefits are available for an extended period of disability. A doctor will need to determine that you are at least 50 percent impaired as a result of your work-related injury. In New Jersey, workers receive 70 percent of their gross average weekly wage for up to 400 base weeks, while PA law grants eligible workers two-thirds of their average weekly wage for up to 500 calendar weeks if they suffer total disability. In both states, temporary total maximum benefit rate from disability benefits are terminated when the worker is released to return to work or when the worker has achieved maximum medical improvement.


Additionally, in Pennsylvania, an employer may require the worker to undergo a medical examination after 104 weeks to determine if the worker is still at least 50 percent impaired. If the 50 percent threshold is no longer met, the worker’s status and benefits may be changed to partial disability.


  • Permanent total disability benefits – If because of your medical condition you are unable to return from medical leave to any kind of gainful employment, you may be eligible to receive weekly benefits for as long as you are considered totally disabled and unable to work. An attorney can help you determine whether you should receive these benefits in a lump sum or in weekly payments. There are pros and cons to accepting a lump sum payment, and an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can help you explore your options.

What’s Different in New Jersey State Disability Law

There are a few differences when looking at New Jersey Temporary Disability Benefits Law, specifically involving both New Jersey Temporary disability insurance and New Jersey permanent total disability insurance benefits as outlined by the New Jersey Department of Labor. In New Jersey, permanent total disability is presumed when the worker loses a combination of certain body parts, including eyes, arms, hands, legs, and feet. In Pennsylvania, a doctor determines whether the worker is at least 50 percent impaired in accordance with American Medical Association standards.


  • Death benefits – If a worker dies due to an on-the-job injury, his or her family members (typically a spouse and/or surviving children) may receive death benefits. In New Jersey, the death benefits are paid at a rate of 70 percent of the deceased worker’s weekly wages, while PA workers’ compensation death benefits are determined by the number of dependents. Additionally, dependents may be compensated for funeral expenses of up to $3,500 in NJ and up to $3,000 in PA which can help with everything from family leave insurance to unemployment insurance.



The application process for obtaining workman’s comp benefits is rarely easy. Just to make a successful disability determination there are mountains of paperwork and a variety of hoops that claimants have to trudge through, including claim forms, medical records, DS-1, TDI, Box 387, and many more pieces of additional information. The Division of Temporary Disability Insurance and the Social Security Administration are much easier to navigate when you have an attorney on your side. Although you are entitled to workers’ compensation for your on-the-job injuries, insurance companies and insurance carriers are notorious for fighting vigorously against a majority of workers’ compensation claims. You need an attorney on your side during the negotiation process because insurance companies often offer low settlements to unrepresented parties. The key to getting a fair settlement and accurate classification of your injury status is to hire an attorney who understands how insurance companies operate in workers’ compensation cases.


Disability attorney Craig A. Altman is willing to fight to get you compensation for your work-related injury. If you are an injured employee, no matter the work injury, be it a back injury, a car accident, or a repetitive motion injury, the attorneys at the Law Offices of Craig A. Altman can help you with your workers’ compensation insurance claim.  The experienced workers’ comp, personal injury and disability lawyers at the Law Offices of Craig A. Altman have dedicated their lives to protecting the legal rights of injured workers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.


Call us today, or use our online contact form to schedule a free evaluation about your case. If after your free consultation the team takes on your case and establish an attorney-client relationship, the Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at the Law Offices of Craig A. Altman work on a contingency fee basis. How it works is we only get paid once you receive compensation for your workplace injury.

Thank you Craig Altman & Associates

Always there when I need them and go out there way.

Craig's office got me the money I deserved after my accident.

Easy to work with and very Professional.

Excellent. Very helpful, productive and relatively fast service that led to the desired result. I will recommend this Law Firm to my friends if needed. Thank you to everyone.

Craig & Eli fought hard to get me the compensation I deserved. The lengthy process was eased with the constant communication and check-ins we had. This is the law firm that will get you what you deserve as well!

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