Non-disabling permanent injury

Non-disabling permanent injury
Published on: 24 January 2023

Table of contents

A non-disabling permanent injury is any injury, mutilation or deformity suffered by a worker as a result of an occupational illness or accident that does not affect his or her ability to continue performing his or her tasks. A concept that, for many people, is difficult to understand and which we would like to explain here as clearly and in as much detail as possible.

What are permanent non-disabling injuries?

From the definition given in the introduction of non-disabling permanent injuries it is clear that it must result in a diminution of the worker's physical integrity. However, it does not go far enough to give rise to a disability.

This is the reason why non-disabling permanent injuries do not give entitlement to a pension. However, since they recognise the damage to the worker's physical integrity, they are associated with the payment of compensation.

In any case, in order to be considered as a non-invalidating permanent injury, the worker must be able to continue carrying out the activities related to the job in which he/she suffered the accident. Otherwise, we would be talking about permanent incapacity.

Example of a non-disabling permanent injury

For a better understanding, let us try to illustrate this type of injury. For example, we could imagine the case of a person working in an office. One day, while attending a meeting, he falls down the stairs and suffers a knee injury that forces him to walk with crutches for the rest of his life.

Clearly, there is an occupational injury, since it is the result of an accident at work. However, the employee can continue to carry out his tasks, as his health problem does not prevent him from doing so. This means that we cannot speak of non-disabling permanent incapacity. This is a mistake that many people make when referring to this case.

What are the amounts of compensation for accidents at work?

To determine them, we have to refer to the schedule of non-disabling permanent injuries drawn up by the Ministry of Social Security. It specifies exactly the different types of injuries that can give rise to the payment of a lump-sum compensation, i.e., in one lump sum. This is the case, for example, of:

  • Amputations of fingers or toes.
  • Loss of upper and lower limbs.
  • Alterations in hearing or visual capacity.
  • Injuries to eyes, nose or ears.
  • Etc.

For example, loss of visual acuity in both eyes, provided that the 50 % threshold is exceeded, is subject to compensation of EUR 2420. On the other hand, the loss of a testicle in a man would be associated with the payment of €2,840. It should be noted that these amounts are those in force in 2023 and that they are updated every year, so they are only indicative.

Who pays compensation for a non-disabling permanent injury?

First of all, the worker must apply to the mutual insurance company to which he/she is affiliated or to the National Institute of Social Security (INSS) for payment of this compensation. Subsequently, he/she will be referred to the Disability Assessment Team (EVI, more popularly known as the "medical tribunal"), which will be responsible for assessing his/her injury and determining that it is permanent and not disabling.

Subsequently, the EVI will make the compensation proposal and send it to the mutual insurance company or the INSS, depending on the case. The party responsible for paying the lump sum is always the one that would pay the worker the temporary incapacity benefit.

Does the company bear any responsibility?

It depends on the case. In this sense, if the accident or occupational disease that has given rise to the non-disabling permanent injury has been caused by the lack of application of occupational risk prevention measures, yes. In this case, in addition to the lump sum paid by the mutual insurance company or the INSS, the business will have to pay out of pocket a surcharge of between 30% and 50%.

Requirements and compatibilities

Obviously, in order to receive compensation for a non-disabling permanent injury, it is necessary to fulfil a series of requirements. These are as follows:

  • You must be registered or in a situation assimilated to it.
  • The injury suffered must be included in the Social Security scale.
  • The worker must have already been discharged from the medical service for temporary incapacity.

In addition, the payment of compensation must be compatible with other pensions received by the worker. This is best illustrated by an example.

Imagine a worker who receives a permanent disability benefit due to a psychiatric disorder. However, he is working on an assembly line, a job that is compatible with it.

One morning like any other, the worker suffers the amputation of a finger. In this case, since the non-disabling permanent injury has nothing to do with the reason for which he is receiving permanent incapacity benefit, he would be entitled to compensation.

In short, non-disabling permanent injury is a complex concept. However, we are sure that, after all that has been said here, our readers are much clearer. In any case, we would like to invite you to contact an expert compensation lawyer if you still have any doubts or if you want to maximise your chances of getting what you are entitled to.

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