How Do Disability and Workers’ Compensation Work Together?

Disability and workers’ compensation work together for people injured on the job, and your disability rating can affect your case. In this video, I cover disability as it relates to employment. I describe what it means if you’re injured on the job and you get a disability rating.

This is Chapter 3 of our Workers’ Comp 101 series.


Video Transcript

Hello, I’m Darrell Castle, an attorney licensed to practice law in the state of Tennessee. On this video I’m talking about disability as it relates to employment— to your job, in other words.

You’re injured on the job and you get a disability rating. That can be two different things: It can be temporary, or it can be permanent. It can be total, or it can be partial.

Examples of Temporary vs Permanent Disability and Total vs Partial

Let’s say you injure your hand and you are off work for a month because of this hand injury. The month off work is “total.” You are unable to work for a month, so you are totally disabled for work purposes for that month. That is a temporary total disability, because it’s only temporary (only lasts a month).

As for he injury to your hand: let’s say your doctor gives you a disability rating of 6%. That 6% disability rating, in theory, will last the rest of your life, so it is permanent. It is a partial permanence.

It’s partial because it’s only a certain body part, like your hand or your foot. And it’s partial because it’s a percentage of disability, like 6%, 10% or whatever the doctor gives you. And that lasts theoretically the rest of your life. So it’s partial, and it’s permanent.

Those are the two differences.

disability lawyer Memphis TNDisability Rating vs Social Security Disability

Now this disability I’m talking about is not social security disability. It has nothing to do with that. This is something designed to pay you for the time you lose from work. It’s an insurance policy your employer is required to carry, because you get insurance if you’re injured and unable to work. It replaces the income that you lose.

The 6% rating to your hand that I gave as an example, in theory, means you are 6% less able to earn a living with that hand than you were before. So you’re entitled to a lump sum benefit for that disability.

Sometimes you can have an injury to your back, for example, and that would give you a rating to your body as a whole. You are, as a whole person, a certain percentage less able to earn a living than you were before.

Of course that relates to the type work you do. If you do manual labor, you need your back more than you do if you just sit at a desk.

These things all sound very complicated, but do you need a lawyer to handle them for you? Well, that’s a subject for the last video in this series.


Darrell Castle & Associates has helped hundreds of people get the workers’ compensation benefits they need and deserve. You don’t have to go this alone. Contact a workers compensation lawyer in Memphis TN today for a free conversation, or just use the form below.

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