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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    6

    Default Whole Person Impairment vs. Body Part Impairment

    Hi,
    I have continual based trauma that began in 2007. I have received treatment since 2007 for Right Elbow - Lateral Epicondylitis. After unsuccessful treatment, I had surgery - right tendon release/stripping - in August 2009. I am 45 years old and have worked the same job for almost 21 years. I did not miss any work for this injury until my surgery in August 2009. Unfortunately, after surgery, I've had some radial nerve issues, hypertropic scar issues and the same pain as prior to surgery. I expected to be off work 3 to 9 weeks after surgery. It has been approximately 7 months.
    I received a copy of my QME report and am wondering if any settlement is based on WPI and/or other body part impairment. My report states as follows: "...She does not have a ratable neuropathy and there is no vascular impairment, but a grip loss of 30%, with significant atrophy in the forearm, would be a 20% upper extremity impairment, time 60%, the value of the wrist, which is 12% for an upper extremity impariment, or 7% of the whole person." The next paragraph reads, "...I would recommend a 1% whole body person impariment due to the scar sensitivity due to pain, which means that the patient's whole person impairment now, even after her excellent treatment is going to be 8%." The report also states that I need future medical care included in my settlement.
    Which %'s are used in determing a settlement. I am covered by a 3rd party administrator for W/C benefits, if that makes a difference. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,898

    Default Re: Whole Person Impairment V Body Part Impairment

    Hi ernndee,

    They count the whole person impairment number...which looks like 8% from what I read above.

    Posters "BvIA" and "SH" are the best at calculating that out. If you do not have an attorney to ask what that 8% means to you as far as PD payments, I recommend contacting an I&A officer at your local WCAB.

    There are some other posters that may chim in with an estimate of what that amount will be.

    Your TPA should be sending you a letter staing what your PD payments will be. If you do not get this soon, I would contact them as well.
    Last edited by kelly38; 03-20-2010 at 06:50 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Whole Person Impairment V Body Part Impairment

    Thank you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    329

    Default Re: Whole Person Impairment V Body Part Impairment

    of
    permanent within percentage
    disability incurred: range:
    0.25-9.75............... 3
    10-14.75................ 4
    15-24.75................ 5
    25-29.75................ 6
    30-49.75................ 7
    50-69.75................ 8
    70-99.75................ 16

    8% x 4 = 32 weeks. Paid at whatever your PD advances are.

    i.e. I get pd advances of 200 per week. so if you were to recieve 200 per week, with a rating of 8%, the way you add it is, 8% x 4 = 32 x 200 = $6,400.

    Remember, this will be paid in the same way you will recieve PD advances.

    You'll get $400.00 every two weeks, until the $6,400 is paid in full.

    Minus any att. fees, avances, ect...

    These figuers are not based on what YOU will recieve, because I don't know YOUR PD rate.

    Hope this help's you.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Whole Person Impairment V Body Part Impairment

    Thanks. I appreciate your time.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    9,108

    Default Re: Whole Person Impairment V Body Part Impairment

    that's an incorrect reading of the california comp laws.
    an impairment rating is NOT a disability rating.
    a Whole Person Impairment rating must first be converted into a disability rating by factoring the age (at date of injury), occupation, and Future Earning Capacity.
    Only a disability rating is converted into permanent disability benefits.
    The Disability Evaluation Unit of the DWC will perform the official calculations.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,898

    Default Re: Whole Person Impairment V Body Part Impairment

    The posters question was "Which %'s are used in determing a settlement". It is his whole person impairment that will be part of the determining factor of his disability rating.

    I think what Dolphins gave was a rough estimate to what this poster may expect in PD payments.

    This link has some additional info http://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/iwguides.html... or I copied some of it below.



    Q: Who determines if I should get permanent disability benefits? How is that done?
    A: A doctor determines if your injury or illness caused permanent disability (PD). The doctor’s report is then turned into a PD rating. The process used to turn the doctor’s report into a rating can vary depending on your date of injury and other factors. The PD rating determines the benefits you’ll receive.

    After your doctor decides your injury or illness has stabilized and no change is likely, permanent disability is evaluated. At that time, your condition has become permanent and stationary (P&S). Your doctor might use the term maximal medical improvement (MMI) instead of P&S.

    Once you are P&S or have reached MMI, your doctor will send a report to the claims administrator telling them whether you have any PD. The doctor also determines if any of your disability was caused by something other than your work injury. For example, a previous injury or other condition. This is called apportionment.

    The insurance company may ask you to fill out a form describing your disability.

    Q: What if I don’t agree with the doctor?
    A: If you or the claims administrator disagrees with your doctor's findings you can be seen by a doctor called a qualified medical evaluator (QME). You request a QME list (called a panel) from the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) Medical Unit. The claims administrator will send you the forms to request a QME. Your employer will pay for the cost of the QME exam. You have 10 days from the date the claims administrator tells you to begin the QME process to submit your request form to the DWC Medical Unit. If you do not submit the form within 10 days, the claims administrator will do it for you and will get to choose the kind of doctor you’ll see.

    There are other specific and strict timelines you must meet in filing your QME forms or you will lose important rights. Read DWC Information and Assistance (I&A) Unit guide 2 for more information.

    When you receive the list of QMEs from the DWC Medical Unit you have to select a doctor, set up an exam and tell the claims administrator about your appointment. If you do not make the appointment within 10 days, the claims administrator may pick the doctor and make the appointment for you.

    If you have an attorney, he or she can help you pick a QME or you can be evaluated by an agreed medical evaluator (AME). An AME is the doctor your attorney and the claims administrator agree on to do your medical examination. Discuss your options with your attorney.

    Q: What is a PD rating and how is it calculated?
    A: First, after your examination, the doctor will write a medical report about your impairment. Impairment means how your injury affects your ability to do normal life activities. The report includes whether any portion of your disability was caused by something other than your work injury. The doctor’s report ends with an impairment number.

    Next, the impairment number is put into a formula to calculate your percentage of disability. Disability means how the impairment affects your ability to work. Your occupation and age at the time of your injury and your future earning capacity are all also included in the calculation.

    Then, any portion of your disability caused by something other than your work injury is taken out of the calculation.

    Your disability will then be stated as a percentage. Your percentage of disability equals a specific dollar amount, depending on the date of your injury and your average weekly wages at the time of injury. A rating specialist from the DWC Disability Evaluation Unit (DEU) may help calculate your rating.

    If you were injured on or after Jan. 1, 2005 your PD award may be increased or decreased by 15 percent, depending on whether you work for an employer with 50 or more employees and your employer offers -- and you accept or decline -- regular, alternative or modified work.

    Q: How is PD paid?
    A: Once your doctor says you have permanent disability, the claims administrator will estimate how much you should receive and begin making payments to you, even if the final percentage of disability has not been calculated. PD benefits are paid in addition to temporary disability (TD) benefits you received. The claims administrator must begin paying your permanent disability within 14 days after TD ends and continue the payments until a reasonable estimate of your disability amount has been paid. If you have not missed any work, PD payments are due from the date the doctor says you are P&S. PD benefits continue to be paid every two weeks on a day picked by the insurance company until a reasonable estimate of your disability amount has been paid. When the actual amount of PD due has been determined, the amount over the estimate must be paid.

    Q: How is my claim finally resolved?
    A: After the amount of PD in a claim is determined, there is usually a settlement or award for benefits. This award must be approved by a workers' compensation judge. If you have an attorney, your attorney should help you obtain this award. If you don’t have an attorney, the claims administrator should help you obtain the award. You can also get help from the I&A officer at the local Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board office. If your doctor said further medical treatment for your injury or illness might be necessary, the award may provide future medical care.

    There are two types of settlements. A settlement is mutually agreed on by you and the claims administrator.

    You can resolve your whole claim through one lump sum settlement called a compromise and release (C&R). A C&R may be best when you want to control your own medical care and/or you want a lump sum payment for your permanent disability. A C&R usually means that after you get the lump sum payment approved by the workers’ compensation judge, the claims administrator will not be liable for any further payments or medical care.

    You can also agree to a settlement called a stipulation with request for award (stip). A stip usually includes a sum of money and future medical treatment. Payments take place over time. A judge will review the agreement.

    If you cannot agree to a settlement with the claims administrator, you can go before a workers compensation judge, who will decide your permanent disability award. A judge’s finding is called a findings and award (F&A). The F&A generally consists of an amount of money and a provision for the claims administrator to pay for approved future medical treatment.

    If you need more information, first contact the claims administrator handling your claim. If you need one of the Information & Assistance (I&A) guides or other help, call an I&A office or attend a workshop for injured workers. The local I&A phone numbers are attached to this fact sheet. You can also get information on local workshops and download the guides from the Web at www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/.

    The information contained in this fact sheet is general in nature and is not intended as a substitute for legal advice. Changes in the law or the specific facts of your case may result in legal interpretations different than those presented here.

    DWC fact sheet D
    Rev. 12/05
    Last edited by kelly38; 03-21-2010 at 02:29 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: Whole Person Impairment V Body Part Impairment

    Have your PTP rebut the QME report.

    It sounds like you would be able to apply the Almaraz/Guzman decision in your case and get you a higher rating.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Whole Person Impairment V Body Part Impairment

    I'm not familiar with the abbreviation PTP??

    I appreciate all the comments!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: Whole Person Impairment V Body Part Impairment

    PTP = Primary Treating Physician

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