The Difference Between Partial and Total Disability

The workers' comp laws in Rhode Island provide two levels of disability.  Both are based upon the degree that your medical condition interferes with your ability to perform work.  The determination is mostly based upon the medical evidence (doctor's reports, depositions or trial testimony) and less upon what you indicate to a court.

Total Disability

In order to be disabled under the Worker's Compensation Act (WCA) of Rhode Island, you must not be able to perform all of the duties of your regular job as you performed it.  Then, with the experience of reading these types of reports since 1978, we carefully review the medical reports and sometimes ask the doctor for more information, in order for us to determine your physical/mental limitations.

If you cannot do your regular job but are able to perform some lighter work, you will be considered partially disabled.  Whether your employer has any lighter work available does not matter.  We look through the doctors reports to find the limitations that your doctor has placed upon you.  If you cannot perform your regular job or any other job, you are considered to have a total incapacity.

Partial Disability

There are times when a person may be physically partially disabled, but due to various other reasons, she/he is effectively totally incapacitated.  This is known as the "odd-lot" doctrine.

A worker with total disability may receive benefits that a partially incapacitated worker.  A person can receive partial disability benefits for a total of six (6) years, while there is no time limit for the receipt of total disability benefits.

When we think that the insurance company should be paying total incapacity benefits while they may be paying partial incapacity benefits, we will discuss the same with you and file to get you the benefits that you are entitled to receive.

Call Us Today

To learn more about how we can help in situations involving total or partial disability, contact attorney Steven Hirsch by email or by phone at 401-287-2079 to schedule a consultation.