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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    3

    Default Permanent Impairment Benefits

    How are benefits figured on a permanent impairment? My husband was given a 2% impairment and we are not sure if he will be able to return to his normal job at this point. I have read that it is % rating x number of weeks but what is the number of weeks? Is it the number of weeks he was injured? He had spinal fusion on his neck and they put cadever bones in his neck. He still has a completely dead feeling on his right side but he has been back on light duty for a couple of months. Unfortunately, the permanent restrictions may mean that his employer won't let him ever return to full duty. We were told that workman's comp benefits stop once MMI is reached so we don't know what to do. If he isn't going to get workman's comp benefits and his employer won't let him return to work, we have no income. Is the permanent impairment benefit a settlement? Will workman's comp completely stop paying him now that MMI has been reached? I have heard of people settling with workman's comp but we don't understand how all of this works. Any help would really be appreciated. We don't know what to expect now.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,017

    Default Re: Permanent Impairment Benefits

    If you haven't consulted with an attorney, it would be a good time to do it.

    The law determines the number of weeks indemnity benefits are due based on the PD/PPD rating.
    (a) Once the employee has reached the date of maximum medical improvement, impairment benefits are due and payable within 14 days after the carrier has knowledge of the impairment.

    e) The carrier shall pay the employee impairment income benefits for a period based on the impairment rating.

    1. Two weeks of benefits are to be paid to the employee for each percentage point of impairment from 1 percent up to and including 10 percent.

    2. For each percentage point of impairment from 11 percent up to and including 15 percent, 3 weeks of benefits are to be paid.

    3. For each percentage point of impairment from 16 percent up to and including 20 percent, 4 weeks of benefits are to be paid.

    4. For each percentage point of impairment from 21 percent and higher, 6 weeks of benefits are to be paid.
    Go here http://www.flsenate.gov/Statutes/ind...440/ch0440.htm and read section 440.15 on disability payments.

    TTD does stop at MMI, or 104 weeks of payments. There may be other benefits if he cannot return to pre injury employer or job duties.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    110

    Default Re: Permanent Impairment Benefits

    2% is a very low impaiment rating for a fusion. You definatly need an attorney.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Permanent Impairment Benefits

    Thank you for your posts and answers to my questions. We also thought that a 2% impairment rating was extremely low for a spinal fusion. They replaced two disks with cadever bones so maybe that is how they came up with 2%. I really don't know. He has permanent spinal cord damage and the doctor said the feeling in his right side will not come back due to the nerve damage.

    We have contacted an attorney but are you guys saying that an attorney could get the impairment rating changed possibly?

    Also, if I read this correctly, considering that he has a 2% impairment rating, he will get 4 weeks of pay? Is that right? And, if he is able to return to work, he gets nothing, correct?

    Again, thank you for your responses.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    florida
    Posts
    622

    Default Re: Permanent Impairment Benefits

    A 2% rating for two level cervical fusion is way too low. You need to ask the doctor to readdress this. As it stands he would receive 4 weeks of impairment benefits. If he is earning wages equal to his pre-injury aww then he is paid at 33% of the compensation rate. If he is earning less than then pre-inujry aww then the benefits are paid at 75% of the cr. The most important thing to do at this point is to have the rating reviewed.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Permanent Impairment Benefits

    Well, we found out that the impairment rating is 7%, not 2% but he also has permanent spinal cord damage that causes his entire right side to have no feeling whatsoever and his legs drop out from under him constantly. He has to walk with a cane to avoid falling. A 7% impairment rating still seems very low considering the permanent damage he has sustained. We have hired an attorney because with the permanent restrictions that his doctor has imposed (no lifting over head, no lifting over 50 pounds, no crawling and no climbing), his employer is never going to let him return to work. Is there a way to challenge the impairment rating? The neurologist and the surgeon have both stated in the record that the permanent spinal cord damage is what is causing him to fall and the dead feeling on his right side. What guide do they use to determine disability?

    ---------- Post added at 10:45 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:43 AM ----------

    What other benefits could there be if he is unable to return to his job? With the permanent restrictions, he will not be able to return and we don't know what to do after 104 weeks. Thanks.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,017

    Default Re: Permanent Impairment Benefits

    (no lifting over head, no lifting over 50 pounds, no crawling and no climbing)
    Those issues/restrictions would be taken into consideration in rating for PPD.
    But you are not rated based on the type of injury, amount of treatment provided, or permenat damage to the body.
    Ratings indicate the reduced earning capacity, or ability to compete in the open labor market. Future wage loss is also taken into consideration when calculating a PPD rating.
    69L-7.604 Permanent Impairment.
    (1) Determination of Physical Impairment Rating. The American Medical Association’s Guide to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, 3rd Edition, (AMA Guide) (Copyright 1988 by the American Medical Association) is adopted as the schedule for determining the existence and degree of permanent impairment for all injuries prior to July 1, 1990. For injuries occurring on or after July 1, 1990, but before the effective date of the Florida Impairment Rating Guide, the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry Disability Schedule shall be used unless that schedule does not address an injury, in which case, the AMA Guide shall be used. For injuries occurring on or after its effective date, the Florida Impairment Rating Guide, which is adopted by reference as part of this rule, shall be used. The Florida Impairment Rating Guide shall also be known as the Florida Impairment Rating Schedule, which is the “uniform permanent impairment rating schedule” and the “uniform disability rating schedule” referenced in Section 440.15(3)(a)2., Florida Statutes. The impairment rating must always be applied to the body as a whole.
    (2) The 1996 Florida Uniform Permanent Impairment Rating Schedule is incorporated into this rule by reference and shall be used for injuries occurring on or after its effective date.
    Specific Authority 440.15(3), 440.591 FS. Law Implemented 440.15(3), 440.185, 440.20 FS. History–New 10-30-79, Amended 11-5-81, 6-23-82, 6-12-84, Formerly 38F-3.17, Amended 4-11-90, 1-30-91, 6-21-93, 11-8-94, 6-15-95, 1-8-97, Formerly 38F-3.017, Formerly 37F-7.604, 4L-7.604.
    Florida actually has their on state specific guide to rating disability, it's not anticipated the use of the AMA guides.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    1,928

    Default Re: Permanent Impairment Benefits

    What a pile of BS 7% WPI for such a bad injury is WHACK! Who is assigning his PPD rating??? I am stunned that anyone would try to rate him with such a low percentage of use after that kind of injury and surgery and his still NOT having any feeling in one side of his body. For real
    "He who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client"
    Abraham Lincoln


    Take Care and Be Well.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Permanent Impairment Benefits

    Your impairment rating does affect the amount of impairment benefits you receive, but other than that it does not determine the future course of your injury. It sounds like he should apply for SSDI benefits and be evaluated by one of their doctors. Or you could always get an IME evaluation, but you only get one per accident.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    florida
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Permanent Impairment Benefits

    I have had a fusion on one cervical level and was given a 22 percent rating. There are three things that they add when calculating a rating for cervical surgery. The surgery itself which prob was 6 percent then they added 1 percent for the additional level fused. If it was for stenosis or instability it should be 10 percent plus the additional one percent. They also did not add for the residual nerve damage and ankylosis. Ankylosis is the measurement of his neck going side to side and up and down. I am sure he has some loss off range of motion. Your Dr should have had a measuring device and had you move your neck around. You have the potential of getting the rating well over 20 percent. Make sure you have a good attorney and discuss all this to you. Hopefully you ve someone to recommend one. I have a hard time finding one that is honest and up front. Good luck.

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