What if I am never able to return to any type of work because of my industrial injury?

You may be entitled to a total disability, lifetime pension from the Department of Labor & Industries if you are never able to return to work as a result of your industrial injury or occupational disease claim. A pension adjudicator at the Department makes the determination based on a number of factors — your age, education, work history, pre-existing conditions and the conditions resulting from your workers' compensation claim. The pension adjudicator will review the medical and vocational information from your claim file and issue an order.

The issue of pension is a complex one and requires knowledge of the laws, court decisions, and the specific issues surrounding the injured worker's life — education, work history, effects of the industrial injury or occupational disease, labor market in the area where the injured worker lives and many other factors. Oftentimes, the issue of total permanent disability is one that must be litigated.