A briefcase icon

free case review

All of our consultations are 100% FREE & confidential.


    Understanding Permanent vs. Temporary Disability Benefits

    In the vibrant city of Nashville, where music and industry intertwine, the unfortunate reality of workplace injuries remains a stark concern. When workers suffer on-the-job injuries or illnesses, the intricate world of workers’ compensation benefits becomes a crucial lifeline. Understanding the nuances of permanent and temporary disability benefits is paramount for injured workers to secure the resources they deserve. 

    Our Nashville workers comp lawyers can help you at every stage of your claim.

    Permanent Disability Benefits: A Lifeline for Long-Term Impairment

    Permanent disability benefits are designed to provide financial assistance to workers who have sustained a work-related injury that leaves them with a lasting impairment. These benefits serve as a crucial safety net, compensating for lost wages and ensuring a degree of financial stability in the face of ongoing disability.

    Eligibility Criteria for Permanent Disability Benefits

    To be eligible for permanent disability benefits in Nashville, an injured worker must meet specific criteria outlined in Tennessee’s workers’ compensation statute, Tennessee Code Annotated § 50-6-201

    Work-Related Injury or Illness

    The injury or illness must have arisen out of and in the course of employment as defined by § 50-6-108. This means that the injury or illness must have occurred while the worker was performing their job duties and be directly related to their employment.

    Permanent Impairment

    The injury or illness must have caused a permanent impairment, significantly impacting the worker’s ability to engage in gainful employment as per § 50-6-202. This impairment must be established through medical evidence and must be expected to last for the foreseeable future.

    Medical Documentation

    Medical documentation from a qualified healthcare provider is essential to establish the extent of the impairment. This documentation must clearly describe the nature and severity of the impairment, its impact on the worker’s functional abilities, and the prognosis for improvement or deterioration.

    Determining the Severity of a Permanent Impairment

    The severity of a permanent impairment is determined through a comprehensive assessment of the worker’s condition, as defined in Tennessee Administrative Code (TAC) Rule 0800-01-02-.13. This evaluation typically considers factors such as the following.

    • Functional Limitations: The extent to which the impairment restricts the worker’s physical and cognitive abilities, as assessed by their range of motion, strength, dexterity, and cognitive functioning.
    • Vocational Implications: The impact of the impairment on the worker’s ability to perform their previous job or secure alternative employment, considering their transferable skills, education, and training.
    • Medical Prognosis: The likelihood of improvement or deterioration of the worker’s condition over time, based on their medical history, treatment plan, and response to therapy.
    a doctor's examination will determine your level of disability after a workplace accident

    Calculation of Permanent Disability Benefits

    The amount of permanent disability benefits an injured worker receives is based on a formula that considers their average weekly wage and the severity of their impairment, as per § 50-6-203. The benefits are typically paid as a percentage of the worker’s pre-injury earnings, with a maximum limit set by Tennessee law. 

    The formula is as follows: Benefit Rate = (Average Weekly Wage x Impairment Rating) x 2/3.


    • Average Weekly Wage: The worker’s average weekly wage during the year preceding their injury or during the last 13 weeks of employment, whichever is greater.
    • Impairment Rating: A percentage assigned to the worker’s impairment, ranging from 0% (no impairment) to 100% (total and permanent disability).

    Temporary Disability Benefits: A Bridge to Recovery

    Temporary disability benefits provide financial support to workers who are temporarily unable to work due to a work-related injury or illness, as per § 50-6-204. These benefits serve as a temporary bridge, allowing workers to focus on their recovery without the immediate financial burden.

    Eligibility Criteria for Temporary Disability Benefits

    To qualify for temporary disability benefits in Nashville, an injured worker must meet the following criteria outlined in § 50-6-205.

    1. Work-Related Injury or Illness: The injury or illness must have arisen out of and in the course of employment as defined by § 50-6-108.
    2. Temporary Total Disability: The injury or illness must render the worker totally unable to work for a period of time. This means that the worker’s physical or mental condition prevents them from performing any substantial duty of their job.
    3. Medical Documentation: Medical documentation from a qualified healthcare provider is required to confirm the worker’s temporary disability. This documentation must clearly state that the worker is unable to work due to their injury or illness and provide an estimated timeframe for their recovery.

    How a Nashville Workers Comp Lawyer Can Help

    The workers’ compensation system in Tennessee can be complex and challenging to navigate. Consulting with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can provide invaluable guidance and support throughout the process of filing a claim and securing the benefits you deserve. 

    An attorney can:

    1. Assess Eligibility: Review your case and determine whether you meet the eligibility criteria for permanent or temporary disability benefits.
    2. Gather Evidence: Assist in gathering and organizing medical documentation, vocational assessments, and other relevant evidence to support your claim.
    3. Communicate with Insurance Carriers: Handle communications with the workers’ compensation insurance carrier, ensuring your rights are protected and your claims are processed promptly.
    4. Represent in Hearings: Represent you in hearings before the Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board if necessary.

    Don’t hesitate to reach out to our Nashville Workers Compensation Lawyers at 615-502-4477 for help securing the benefits you deserve.

    get started on your claim

    let us focus on fighting insurance company so that you can focus on getting better.