When determining whether a workplace injury has resulted in permanent disability to a worker, the Illinois Workers Compensation Act stipulates that American Medical Association (AMA) Guidelines (6th Edition) must be used in order to set disability ratings and, as a result, award the appropriate level of compensation to the injured worker. Disability ratings, which may also be referred to as impairment ratings, are established by the chosen medical provider who is responsible for assessing whether:
- The injury has caused temporary or permanent impairments (with impairment being loosely defined as any functional problem with a body part, a sensory faculty or cognitive ability).
- An injured worker will be able to work while he recovers from the work-related injury. If it is determined that the injured worker can still work during his recover, the next step will be evaluating to what extent the injured employee can work (for example, working part time, only performing certain functions of his job, etc.).
- An injured worker has recovered as much as possible from medical treatments and, consequently, has achieved is maximum medical improvement. At this point, the level of remaining impairment or disability will be determined.
AMA Impairment Ratings
The four general categories for AMA impairment ratings associated with workers compensation claims in Illinois include:
- Temporary total disability
- Temporary partial disability
- Permanent partial disability
- Permanent total disability
Despite the fact that AMA impairment ratings are meant to clarify the nature, severity and extent of workplace injuries, in many cases, these ratings are misapplied or inappropriately designated, which could end up hurting an injured employee’s workers compensation claim. If you have been injured on the job, it will be essential that you work with a skilled workers compensation attorney to ensure that you are not given an inappropriate impairment rating and that your rights are fully protected.
At the law firm of Hassakis & Hassakis, P.C., our experienced Mount Vernon workers compensation lawyers have been providing client-centered representation to our Southern Illinois clients since 1950. Our trusted attorneys focus on our clients’ needs, and we do everything we can to help them get the maximum possible compensation for their workplace injuries so they can focus on recovery and moving on with their life. If you or a loved one has sustained any type of injury while working, contact us by calling (800)-553-3125 for a free, thorough assessment of your case, along with professional advice regarding the best manner in which to move forward.