Impairment ratings, also referred to as permanent disability ratings, are medical evaluations that establish the degree to which an employee has been permanently impaired by a workplace injury. These evaluations are conducted by licensed and trusted medical professionals. The means with which the rating is calculated are designed to be as clear and objective as possible to allow for a fair representation of both sides of a workers’ compensation claim.
Impairment ratings are used to determine whether an injured employee has the right to further payment and to determine a reasonable amount for that payment based on the severity of the injuries and the employee’s previous rate of pay.
If you have incurred a work-related injury, reach out to the Texas Department of Insurance Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) to submit a claim immediately following the occurrence. This will ensure that you are able to take the proper steps to receive a payout that is commensurate with your injuries.
When Are Impairment Ratings Needed?
Impairment ratings are conducted by approved medical specialists to determine the permanent impact that a workplace injury will have on an employee’s health. The purpose of an impairment rating is to establish whether an employee who has filed a workers’ compensation claim is owed further benefits beyond his or her initial temporary income benefits payout.
Once the physician handling the workers’ compensation case has concluded that the injured employee has reached Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI), the next step is to provide the employee, the DWC, and the company’s insurance provider with an impairment rating. This rating will provide insight into whether an employee will receive further compensation and how much the compensation will be.
How Are Impairment Ratings Achieved?
If you were injured and are required to receive an impairment rating, your injuries have significantly impacted your ability to work for quite some time. Receiving a fair, unbiased, and comprehensive impairment rating is critical to receiving the full benefits that are owed to you after a work-related injury.
An impairment rating is given by a doctor who will conduct a thorough evaluation of your current state to determine the significance of your permanent injuries. Every percentage point matters. This is why it is crucial to choose the right physician to perform the proper testing who can truly understand and report your overall physical and cognitive abilities in addition to your capacity to perform specific work-related functions. These examinations and tests will be what determine your impairment rating. For further review, here is the Texas Workers’ Compensation Impairment Rating System.
Impairment Benefits for Work-Related Injuries
In Texas, an injured employee will receive impairment income benefits (IIBs) of 70% of their preinjury weekly pay for 3 weeks for every percentage point of their impairment rating. This means that a worker’s compensation patient with an impairment rating of 20 will receive 60 weeks of IIBs.
For more information on IIBs, visit the Texas Department of Insurance IIB page.
To receive a fair impairment rating for your workplace injury claim, schedule a meeting with our Dallas worker’s compensation doctors today! Call our office at (877) 487-8289.