FAQs About Permanent Partial Disability And The Disability Rating System

Posted on: 4 April 2017

Permanent partial disability is part of the workers' compensation system. The compensation is awarded if you do not completely recover from your work injury and you are left with an impairment. There are guidelines that dictate whether or not you are eligible for the benefits and how much you can receive in compensation. If you are planning to apply for partial disability, here is what you need to know.  

Do You Have to Be Disabled to Receive Compensation?

A common misconception about permanent partial disability is that you must have a disability that impacts your ability to work. In actuality, the impairment that you have experienced does not necessarily have to lead to restrictions on your ability to work. 

For instance, if you suffered permanent scarring from the work injury, you can still claim permanent partial disability. The scarring does not have to cause any restrictions on your work. Alternatively, you can receive benefits if you are unable to sit for longer than a couple of hours and perform your job.  

How Important Is the Disability Rating?

When a doctor assesses your injury and overall health, he or she will assign a disability rating to your case. The disability rating is based on guidelines set by your state. The rating is assigned in a percentage that details the extent of your disability. For instance, the doctor might determine that your injury resulted in a 20 percent permanent disability rating.  

The rating is extremely important. Depending on the state in which you live, the percentage could be used to calculate how much compensation you are entitled to. Some states rely on charts that assigns a dollar amount to each percentage. For instance, your state could assign $5,000 for a disability rating of 50 percent.  

What If You Do Not Agree With the Disability Rating?

If you do not agree with the disability rating that was assigned to your impairment, you have several options to fight the rating available to you. For instance, you can request another examination from an independent medical examiner.  

You can also appeal the rating and present medical evidence from your own doctor that shows your rating should be higher or lower than the current rating.  

Depending on the state in which you live, there could be other options available to you to get the disability rating increased or decreased. Continue reading more about workers' compensation to learn more about the rating system in your state and to get advice on appealing the rating.