If you suffer permanent impairment as a result of a workers' compensation injury you are entitled to an impairment rating. This rating is given by a qualified doctor based upon the 4th Edition of the AMA Guides.
Do You Qualify for Impairment Benefits?
Every injured worker is entitled to an impairment rating evaluation, but whether that results in impairment income benefits is another matter. The amount of Impairment Income Benefits (IIBs) a worker receives is ultimately determined by a doctor once the individual has reached “maximum medical improvement” or “MMI”. A qualified doctor will examine you to determine both the date off MMI and your impairment rating. The insurance carrier will pay three weeks of impairment income benefits for each percentage point of impairment, and each week equals 70% of the average of your weekly wages prior to the injury. For example, if the doctor says that your impairment rating is 5% from a back injury, then you would be entitled to IIIBs for 15 weeks, but if your impairment rating is 0% (0x3=0), you would not be paid any IIBs.