Permanent disability is a physical or mental impairment that indefinitely diminishes a worker's ability to perform the duties or normal activities that the worker performed before the accident or serious illness. If the injury occurred in the course of employment, the permanently disabled worker may obtain payments to compensate for their inability to work. For example, 33 U.S.C. § 908 provides that persons engaged in maritime employment covered under § 902(3) with permanent disabilities receive two-thirds of their previous wage. State workers’ compensation statutes also provide for benefits for permanent disabilities. For example, Wisconsin Stats. § 102.52 provides a compensation schedule for the permanent disability of certain body parts.
[Last updated in April of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]