According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), a permanent injury is described as one that impacts an individual's ability to perform the same type of work that they were able to do before the incident. The classification of permanently disabled can also be used to describe a situation in which a worker cannot make necessary adjustments because of the injuries they've suffered as well.
If one of these conditions applies to you and it can be documented that your condition will either kill you or is anticipated to endure more than a year, then it's possible to be classified as permanently disabled.
The SSA maintains a thorough list of severe medical conditions that they deem to automatically render an individual as disabled. There's a List of Impairments for both adults and children covering every major system in the human body.
This includes conditions affecting the musculoskeletal, digestive and cardiovascular systems as well as various medical disorders. Some of the disorders or illness included on the list include mental health, skin and hematologic conditions.
Even conditions not listed as automatically permanently disabling by the SSA may still be deemed by them as such. It all depends on whether it's seen as comparable to another condition on the list. Often times, a physical or mental assessment will help to verify the nature of the condition.
If your diagnosis is severe, yet not on par with the impairment list conditions, then the physician assessing you will seek to determine whether the disability impacts your ability to do similar work. In cases in which it does not, you won't be classified as permanently disabled.
In contrast, if you'll unable to adapt to new work even with adjustments, then you may ultimately be classified as permanently disabled. Your age, past work experience, education and possession of a transferable skill set will all impact whether you're considered permanently disabled.
If you've been hurt on the job in Pennsylvania and you believe that you may have what qualifies as a permanent injury, then a Dauphin workers' compensation attorney can provide guidance.
Source: Social Security Administration, "Disability planner: What we mean by disability," accessed Nov. 17, 2017