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What Is A Workers Compensation Permanency Rating?

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Question From One Of Our Devout Readers on Workers Compensation Permanency Rating

A Workers Compensation Permanency rating can also be called a PPD Rating or Permanent Partial Disability Rating.

picture of circular slide workers compensation permanency rating rule
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Each state is very distinct on how they handle permanency ratings.     PPD ratings by physicians differ in some states.  For example,  – are the AMA guidelines used or not.

Some states even set the ratings themselves using the doctor’s rating as a basis.

So, this article will cover just the generic basics of a Workers Compensation permanency rating.   If you are an adjuster  or anyone that handles Workers Comp benefits that is reading this article, most renowned law firms  have a “cheat sheet” on Workers Compensation law including PPD rating benefits.

If your online claims system does not provide you with the associated number of weeks for each injury, you should contact the law firms you use for a “cheat sheet” for each state in which your employer has workers compensation interests.

Signing Workers Compensation Permanency Rating Disability
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They are called cheat sheets as no other term fits.   The cheat sheets are not illegal or wrong to use.   That name is just the name that they are given in the WC community.

For example, we will use our HQ state, North Carolina for a list of the applicable permanency.  As mentioned before, most states, but not all have permanency rating.

If you want to dig into workers compensation permanency rating, then try looking here.  This coverage is very in-depth.   For just the benefits per part of body loss, you would want to use the chart below.

Let us use the thumb for example –

The injured employed severely fractured his/her left them.   The rating formula would be:

workers compensation benefits rate x maximum number of weeks x physician rating 

(As an important side note the benefits rate usually equals 2/3 of the injured employees total average before tax wages)

If the injured employee had a 30% rating to the right thumb, then the formula would be:

$400 * 30% * 75 = $9,000.00

The formula such as the one above generates so much debate.   Is $9,000 worth using 30% of the use of one’s thumb?   I will leave that to the debaters.

 

 97-31. Schedule of injuries; rate and period of compensation.

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In cases included by the following schedule the compensation in each case shall be paid for disability during the healing period and in addition the disability shall be deemed to continue for the period specified, and shall be in lieu of all other compensation, including disfigurement, to wit:

  1. For the loss of a thumb, sixty-six and two-thirds percent (66 2/3%) of the average weekly wages during 75 weeks.
  2. For the loss of a first finger, commonly called the index finger, sixty-six and two-thirds percent (66 2/3%) of the average weekly wages during 45 weeks.
  3. For the loss of a second finger, sixty-six and two-thirds percent (66 2/3%) of the average weekly wages during 40 weeks.
  4. For the loss of a third finger, sixty-six and two-thirds percent (66 2/3%) of the average weekly wages during 25 weeks.
  5. For the loss of a fourth finger, commonly called the little finger, sixty-six and two-thirds percent (66 2/3%) of the average weekly wages during 20 weeks
  6. The loss of the first phalange of the thumb or any finger shall be considered to be equal to the loss of one half of such thumb or finger, and the compensation shall be for one half of the periods of time above specified.
  7. The loss of more than one phalange shall be considered the loss of the entire finger or thumb: Provided, however, that in no case shall the amount received for more than one finger exceed the amount provided in this schedule for the loss of a hand.
  8. For the loss of a great toe, sixty-six and two-thirds percent (66 2/3%) of the average weekly wages during 35 weeks.
  9. For the loss of one of the toes other than a great toe, sixty-six and two-thirds percent (66 2/3%) of the average weekly wages during 10 weeks.
  10. The loss of the first phalange of any toe shall be considered to be equal to the loss of one half of such toe, and the compensation shall be for one half of the periods of time above specified.
  11. The loss of more than one phalange shall be considered as the loss of the entire toe.
  12. For the loss of a hand, sixty-six and two-thirds percent (66 2/3%) of the average weekly wages during 200 weeks.
  13. For the loss of an arm, sixty-six and two-thirds percent (66 2/3%) of the average weekly wages during 240 weeks.
  14. For the loss of a foot, sixty-six and two-thirds percent (66 2/3%) of the average weekly wages during 144 weeks.
  15. For the loss of a leg, sixty-six and two-thirds percent (66 2/3%) of the average weekly wages during 200 weeks.
  16. For the loss of an eye, sixty-six and two-thirds percent (66 2/3%) of the average weekly wages during 120 weeks.
  17. The loss of both hands, or both arms, or both feet, or both legs, or both eyes, or any two thereof, shall constitute total and permanent disability, to be compensated according to the provisions of G.S. 97-29. The employee shall have a vested right in a minimum amount of compensation for the total number of weeks of benefits provided under this section for each member involved. When an employee dies from any cause other than the injury for which he is entitled to compensation, payment of the minimum amount of compensation shall be payable as provided in G.S. 97-37.

    Right Funds Workers Compensation Permanency Rating Disability
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  18. For the complete loss of hearing in one ear, sixty-six and two-thirds percent (66 2/3%) of the average eekly wages during 70 weeks; for the complete loss of hearing in both ears, sixty-six and two-thirds percent (66 2/3%) of the average weekly wages during 150 weeks.
  19. Total loss of use of a member or loss of vision of an eye shall be considered as equivalent to the loss of such member or eye. The compensation for partial loss of or for partial loss of use of a member or for partial loss of vision of an eye or for partial loss of hearing shall be such proportion of the periods of payment above provided for total loss as such partial loss bears to total loss, except that in cases where there is eighty-five per centum (85%), or more, loss of vision in any eye, this shall be deemed “industrial blindness” and compensated as for total loss of vision of such eye.
  20. The weekly compensation payments referred to in this section shall all be subject to the same limitations as to maximum and minimum as set out in G.S. 97-29.
  21. In case of serious facial or head disfigurement, the Industrial Commission shall award proper and equitable compensation not to exceed twenty thousand dollars ($20,000). In case of enucleation where an artificial eye cannot be fitted and used, the Industrial Commission may award compensation as for serious facial disfigurement.
  22. In case of serious bodily disfigurement for which no compensation is payable under any other subdivision of this section, but excluding the disfigurement resulting from permanent loss or permanent partial loss of use of any member of the body for which compensation is fixed in the schedule contained in this section, the Industrial Commission may award proper and equitable compensation not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
  23. For the total loss of use of the back, sixty-six and two-thirds percent (66 2/3%) of the average weekly wages during 300 weeks. The compensation for partial loss of use of the back shall be such proportion of the periods of payment herein provided for total loss as such partial loss bears to total loss, except that in cases where there is seventy-five per centum (75%) or more loss of use of the back, in which event the injured employee shall be deemed to have suffered “total industrial disability” and compensated as for total loss of use of the back.
  24. In case of the loss of or permanent injury to any important external or internal organ or part of the body for which no compensation is payable under any other subdivision of this section, the Industrial Commission may award proper and equitable compensation not to exceed twenty thousand dollars ($20,000). (1929, c. 120, s. 31; 1931, c. 164; 1943, c. 502, s. 2; 1955, c. 1026, s. 7; 1957, c. 1221; c. 1396, ss. 2, 3; 1963, c. 424, ss. 1, 2; 1967, c. 84, s. 3; 1969, c. 143, s. 3; 1973, c. 515, s. 3; c. 759, s. 3; c. 761, ss. 1, 2; 1975, c. 164, s. 1; 1977, c. 892, s. 1; 1979, c. 250; 1987, c. 729, ss. 7, 8.)

You may wish to look at this reference to find more info on any workers compensation permanency  rating.

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James Moore

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Mgmt Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites
  • Various trade publications

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