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Work Injury

What Are Impairment Ratings in Texas Workers’ Compensation Claims?

Posted by: Kemmy Law Firm

Insurance companies use impairment ratings to determine the severity of your injuries and the compensation you could receive through your workers’ comp claim.

If you are rated less than expected, it could significantly impact your ability to recover the compensation and benefits you need to get by.

What Are Impairment Income Benefits?

Impairment income benefits refer to the weekly disability benefits you could receive when you suffer an on-the-job injury. The amount you will receive is based on your impairment rating and the state’s workers’ comp laws.

What is an Impairment Rating & How is it Determined?

An impairment rating is designed to state how significantly you are affected by your injuries, and it ultimately determines how much your injury is worth. Once you receive the medical treatment you need and have reached maximum medical improvement, your impairment rating will be determined by your health care providers.

Your healthcare provider will conduct a medical evaluation to examine your range of motion, various pain levels, and other elements about how your life has continued to be affected by your work injury. Generally, the greater your impairment rating, the less functionality you will have.

How Does an Impairment Rating Impact Your Compensation?

Your impairment rating significantly influences the amount of compensation you receive. For example, for every impairment point you receive, you can collect up to three weeks of as much as 70% of your average weekly wages. However, this amount is reassessed on an annual basis.

Your physician may be more likely to assign you a higher impairment rating if you are unable to return to work or cannot earn 80% or higher of your pre-injury salary.

Be honest with your health care provider about how your injuries impact your life. If you don’t, it could result in the termination of your benefits or a reduction in the amount of weekly benefits you receive.

How Long Do Benefits Last?

Impairment income benefits and other types of workers’ compensation benefits will typically be available until you reach maximum medical improvement or are capable of going back to work. However, if your injuries are permanent, you might continue receiving benefits for the rest of your life.

There may also be limits on the amount of time you can continue receiving benefits depending on your impairment rating, when your injuries occurred, and other factors.

How Much Do You Receive in Weekly Compensation?

The amount that you will receive depends on your impairment rating, the amount of money you were bringing in before your injuries, and how long ago your injuries occurred. According to the table provided by the Texas Workers Compensation Act, there is a minimum and maximum amount of weekly benefits that can be paid out.

Even if you earn more than the maximum amount allotted, you should only expect to receive the maximum amount as outlined in the table. Additionally, if you earn less than the minimum amount allotted, you should expect to receive at least the minimum amount as described in the Texas Workers Compensation Act compensation table.

What if Your Rating isn’t Accurate?

Fortunately, if you suspect your impairment rating is not accurate, you can reach out to your workers’ compensation attorney in Texas to figure out what your next steps should be. Generally, we will recommend obtaining a second opinion from another health care provider who is not affiliated with the insurance company. This can provide evidence to support why your impairment rating should be increased.

When Do Your Impairment Income Benefits Start?

You will be eligible for impairment income benefits within 24 hours of reaching maximum medical improvement. For this reason, you should ensure that your physician’s notes and appointments are carefully documented. This way, you can begin collecting the benefits you are entitled to as soon as possible.

Get Help From a Texas Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today

After being involved in a work-related accident, obtaining workers’ compensation benefits should not be a challenge. Unfortunately, you might find that the insurance company has assigned you an impairment rating far less than reasonable.

You can take action to ensure you are compensated fairly for your work injuries. Reach out to an experienced Texas work injury lawyer at Kemmy Law Firm to start working on your appeal. You can reach us through our quick contact form or by phone at 210-750-1019 to get started on your case as soon as today.

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When you work with us at Kemmy Law Firm, you are working with a family run firm with more than 50 years of combined experience. We are dedicated and successful trial attorneys practicing in West TX, Hobbs, NM, Midland-Odessa, and across the Permian Basin. Our team handles everything from catastrophic injury claims to complex business matters. We are here to fight for you. We dedicate our time and attention to your case and use every resource available to maximize your claim and obtain the best possible outcome.