Do You Have a Dormant PPD Claim Ready to Explode?

Do You Have a Dormant PPD Claim Ready to Explode?


Above is the bottom part of the Claim Form found on the Commission’s website.  When this form is utilized by the claimant, at least 75% of the time the claimant will check all of the boxes (except for the “death benefits”) box.

In a typical injury by accident case, the only real relief the claimant is seeking is temporary total disability benefits (in addition to medical benefits).  However, since the PPD box is checked this issue must be dealt with by the deputy commissioner at the hearing.

Typically, the deputy commissioner will ask the claimant how she wants to handle this claim. In many circumstances (especially if the claimant is represented) the PPD claim will be held in abeyance and not adjudicated at the hearing.

After the hearing, an opinion is issued. In many cases you might pay TTD for a closed period. However, the PPD claim is still lying dormant, ready to reemerge later.

You may have paid all the outstanding medical bills and the closed period of compensation.  The claimant might no longer be treating. So, you forget about the claim.

A year later, you receive a Notice of Hearing or a 30-Day Order pertaining to the PPD claim.  You must reengage counsel, with all those attendant expenses.

How could this be avoided?  Our strategy is as follows:

  1. At the hearing, move to dismiss without prejudice the PPD claim, rather than hold it in abeyance. If the deputy commissioner does not grant this relief, we suggest the following.
  1. After receiving the opinion awarding a closed period of TTD benefits file a Rule 1.3 Motion to Dismiss the PPD claim for failure to submit supporting medical documentation.
  1. If that Motion fails because there is some medical evidence of permanent partial disability or potential permanency we would probably move  the Commission to place the PPD claim on a hearing docket. 

This PPD claim needs to be disposed of one way or the other. It is not prudent to think that it might go away on its own. The only exception to this strategy would be to do nothing if there is absolutely no evidence of permanency within 36 months from the date for which compensation was last paid.

As always, the Workers’ Compensation Team at KPM LAW would be happy to discuss with you.






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