One of the most confusing aspects of workers’ compensation is understanding the impairment ratings. It is critical that your attorney be knowledgeable regarding the impairment guidelines when talking with your doctor about your impairment rating because that is what determines the type of benefits you are entitled to.
The attorneys at Burge & Burge, PC, can review your workers’ compensation claim and ensure that you receive the benefits you deserve. If you have been given a disability rating that does not provide the level of benefits you need, we will work to prove the extent of your injuries. For a free consultation with an Alabama permanent impairment attorney, please call or contact us online.
How Injuries Determine Your Level of Benefits
An impairment rating is given by the American Medical Association. It describes the level of physical impairment, but does not address the ability of the worker to perform his or her job.
Disability ratings are based on the worker’s vocational disability, or the ability to perform his or her old job or another job. Sometimes it is necessary for your attorney to employ a vocational expert to testify as to what jobs you can no longer perform due to your injury.
A worker may receive a rating of temporary total disability if he or she is injured and unable to return to work for a period of time. Temporary total disability benefits are based on 66 2/3 percent of the worker’s average weekly wage (AWW). Benefits are subject to maximum and minimum limitations for the period during which the employee is unable to return to work.
A temporary partial disability rating is given when an employee is able to return to work but is unable to perform a job which earns the same salary. The employee will receive 66 2/3 percent of the difference between his or her AWW at the time of injury and his or her AWW or earning capacity since the injury occurred.
Permanent partial disability is the rating workers receive when certain parts of the body are injured. Injuries are classified as scheduled or unscheduled, depending on which parts of the body are affected. Our experienced lawyers can explain the difference and tell you if you injury is scheduled or unscheduled.
Permanent total disability is granted for workers unable to perform their old jobs or unable to get other reasonably gainful employment. Employees may receive two-thirds of their AWW for the duration of the permanent total disability. This can last for the lifetime of the employee.
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