Wage Loss Disability

Wage Loss Disability Attorney Springdale

Wage Loss Disability is additional permanent impairment over and above your assigned Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) rating.

If you receive an unscheduled whole body impairment with permanent restrictions that prevent you from returning to work making the same or similar wages, then you have an opportunity to negotiate for extra impairment from the Workers’ Compensation Commission. This is referred to as Wage Loss Disability.

Springdale Wage Loss Disability Attorney

In Arkansas, work injuries and impairments are classified as scheduled and unscheduled. Scheduled injuries are not allowed extra impairment in terms of Wage Loss Disability; however, unscheduled injuries are allowed whole body impairment ratings. Below are examples of scheduled and unscheduled injuries.

Scheduled vs. Unscheduled Injuries

Scheduled Injuries, include but are not limited to:

  • Leg injury / knee injury / ankle injury
  • Arm injury / elbow injury
  • Finger and thumb amputation
  • Eye injury

Unscheduled injuries, include but are not limited to:

  • Brain injury / Head injury
  • Neck injury / cervical injury
  • Back injury / lumbar injury
  • Shoulder Injury / rotator cuff injury

Wage Loss Disability is often negotiated by an attorney. The insurance carrier and employer rarely discuss Wage Loss Disability with unrepresented injured workers.

Calculation of Wage Loss Disability

Wage Loss Disability is often litigated before an Arkansas Work Comp Judge. The Workers’ Compensation Commission considers a broad range of factors when considering whether or not to award an injured worker additional impairment. Those factors include the injured workers:

  1. Age
  2. Education
  3. Advanced training
  4. Prior job experience, and
  5. Vocational rehabilitation opportunities

To obtain a Wage Loss Disability award, it is crucial that the injured worker was denied a return to work at the same or similar pay by his or her employer and that the injured worker is motivated to return to work when the opportunity is provided. An injured worked is barred from claiming Wage Loss Disability, if the injured worker voluntarily resigns his or her position with the employer or refuses to return to work within his or her permanent restrictions.

When Wage Loss Disability Benefits Start

A large percentage of work comp cases never receive Wage Loss Disability benefits, and typically insurance companies do not voluntarily pay Wage Loss Disability benefits. I cannot think of a single case in over twenty years practicing law, wherein, a client called and advised me that the insurance carrier had offered to pay Wage Loss Disability benefits. That said, Wage Loss Disability payments would begin after all PPD benefits had been paid for the assigned impairment rating. Again, it is important to remember that Wage Loss Disability benefits are only available for injured workers that receive allowable whole body impairments to body parts that include, the back, neck, brain and shoulder. These benefits are also only available if you did not quit your job.

Length of Wage Loss Disability Benefit Payments

There is no set time that Wage Loss Disability payments last. The typical Wage Loss Disability award is to double your impairment rating. For example, if your doctor assigns a 5% whole body impairment, it would not be unusual to receive a 5% wage loss disability award.
Call my office if at any time you receive a whole body Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) to discuss the particulars about your case and to determine if Wage loss Disability Benefits are available.

Springdale Wage Loss Disability Attorney

At the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield, P.A., we negotiate Wage Loss Disability benefits with the insurance companies. Let my office handle the details of your Wage Loss claim. I am dedicated to guiding you successfully through the Arkansas workers’ compensation process to ensure you receive all that you are entitled and will aggressively pursue all aspects of your case.

The Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield, P.A. has successfully litigated and won Wage Loss Disability. Below is an example of a successful verdict from our office.

  • In Birtcher v. Mena Water Utilities and Arkansas Municipal League, 2017 Ark. App. 210, 518 S.W.3d 707 a city worker was attacked and seriously injured while performing his job shutting off water meters in locations wherein residents failed to pay their bill. When the worker arrived at the residence he was attacked and able to subdue the attacker while waiting for the police. The worker held down the initial attacker when another resident began jumping and stomping on him, causing him to have a stroke which resulted in paralysis. The Workers Compensation Commission awarded a fifty percent Wage Loss Disability over the permanent anatomical impairment rating issued by his work comp physician. After listening to oral arguments in Little Rock, the Arkansas Court of Appeals affirmed the award.

For help with your wage loss benefits and other workers’ comp issues, contact Jason Hatfield today at 479-361-3575 to speak directly to him about your wage loss disability case. The sooner he can start working on your case, the faster you can collect your benefits.

The Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield, P.A. represents injured workers from all over Northwest Arkansas including Springdale, Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Rogers, Bentonville, Berryville and Harrison. We also represent injured truck drivers from all over the U.S. with employers, such as; J.B. Hunt Transport, Tyson Foods Inc., Walmart Inc., PAM Transport Inc., USA Truck Inc., Maverick Trucking and others in Arkansas.