What Is an Impairment Rating? | When Do You Need One? | How Are They Determined?
When you suffer a work-related injury, you have the right to seek benefits for both temporary and permanent disabilities. In some instances, your injuries will prevent you from ever working again, which entitles you to full benefits. It’s possible, however, for you to have a permanent, but partial, disability. In that case, to determine the amount of benefits, you’ll need to provide the Department of Workers’ Compensation with what’s known as an “impairment rating.”
What Is an Impairment Rating?
Also commonly referred to as a “permanent disability rating,” an impairment rating identifies the degree to which any permanent injuries affect your ability to be gainfully employed. In Texas, an employee with a permanent disability receives three weeks of full benefits for each percentage point of a disability rating. For example, if you receive a 30% disability rating, you are entitled to 90 weeks of full benefits (70% of your pre-injury average weekly wage over the last 52 weeks).
When Do You Need an Impairment Rating?
As a general rule, you don’t need an impairment rating until there’s a determination that you have some form of permanent disability. An impairment rating will help determine whether you are entitled to any benefits other than the income benefits for a temporary disability. Accordingly, the need for an impairment rating will not arise until your treating physician or other medical professional determines that you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) after your injury but still have some remaining disability.
How Is the Impairment Rating Determined?
Your impairment rating will be established through examination by a licensed medical practitioner. The doctor will consider both physical and cognitive abilities and test your ability to perform work-related tasks.
Contact Us to Set Up an Appointment
Let us help you take steps to return to peak performance at work! Call Advantage Healthcare Systems toll-free at 1-877-487-8289 or fill out the form provided below to schedule an assessment. We offer locations across Texas, including Fort Worth, Dallas, and San Antonio.