A construction worker

How To Calculate Your Workers Comp Disability Rating

Understanding the workers' compensation impairment rating scale is the first step to comprehending your benefit award. An injury at work can leave you unsure of what your future holds. After your injury occurs, the next step is to file a worker's compensation claim, so you can potentially get your medical expenses covered and receive disability benefits. Disability benefits will cover up to 80 percent of your lost wages temporarily while you’re out of work. When applying for workers' comp benefits, a doctor appointed by your employer will assess your injuries and assign you a workers' comp disability rating. This rating assesses your injury on a scale of 1 to 100 to determine how disabled you are and what types of disability benefits you should receive. If you don’t agree with the disability rating you receive or need help with your workers' comp claim approval, you should reach out to an Iowa workers' compensation lawyer from Pothitakis Law Firm, PC. Having an experienced attorney guide you through the claims can give you the best chance of receiving maximum benefits.

Workers' Compensation Impairment Rating Scale

The disability rating scale goes from 1 to 100, as mentioned, with 1 being unharmed and 100 being completely disabled. Once you receive your rating, the rating is multiplied by the number of weeks assigned to your injury in the state’s injury schedule to determine how long you’ll receive disability benefits. Not all injuries are listed in the state’s injury schedule, but some injuries listed include:
  • Loss of thumb–60 weeks
  • Loss of first finger–35 weeks
  • Loss of second finger–30 weeks
  • Loss of third finger–25 weeks
  • Loss of hand–190 weeks
  • Loss of arm–250 weeks
  • Loss of great toe–40 weeks
  • Loss of other toes–15 weeks
  • Loss of foot–150 weeks
  • Loss of leg–220 weeks
  • Loss of eye–140 weeks
  • Loss of hearing in one ear–50 weeks
  • Loss of hearing in both ears–175 weeks
  • Permanent disfigurement of the face or head–150 weeks
For example, if your disability rating is 50, and you lost your arm, then you’d receive benefits for 125 weeks. If your injury isn’t listed on the state’s injury schedule, then the length of your disability benefits may be determined by your age, your physical capacity, the local job market, or the possibility of rehabilitation.

What to Do If You Don’t Agree with Your Disability Rating

If you don’t agree with the disability rating assigned to you by the workers' compensation doctor, you can receive a second opinion from a doctor of your choice. Your employer should pay for this independent medical exam. Similarly, if your workers' compensation claim is denied, you have the right to file an appeal. If your award amount is insufficient, or if your claim is wrongfully denied, a workers' compensation attorney can guide you through the appeals process. Correcting your settlement award or seeking an appeal may require you to attend a workers' compensation hearing

Disability Benefits Available to Injured Workers

Injured workers who qualify can apply for a variety of different disability benefits. The types of benefits available to an accident victim will depend on his or her impairment. Generally, workers' may qualify for temporary benefits or permanent benefits. Temporary benefits can take the form of temporary total disability benefits or temporary partial disability benefits. Similarly, applicants may qualify for permanent total or permanent partial disability.

Contact an Iowa Workers Compensation Attorney

The worker's comp claims process can be complex. Even if you think you know your disability rating, you may be surprised to hear the doctor’s opinion. You should be prepared for whatever outcome you receive, and know that fighting for your case is often possible. If you need help maximizing your benefits, reach out to an Iowa workers compensation lawyer from Pothitakis Law Firm, PC. To schedule a free consultation, call (319) 318-0450 or fill out the contact form below.