Permanent disability ratings are used to evaluate the damaging effects of a work-related injury or occupational disease. A permanent disability rating, also known as a permanent impairment rating, is an assessment of the severity of a permanent impairment. A permanent disability rating is essential in computing an amount of benefits necessary to compensate an individual for the permanent impairment related to a workplace injury or illness.
How this permanent disability rating is established and used varies by state. In some states, the permanent disability rating equals a certain number of weeks of wages. For example, a 20 % permanent disability may amount to 40 weeks worth of wages. In other states, the permanent disability rating equals an exact dollar amount. For example, a 10 % impairment may equal an award of $5,000, which would then be payable in installment payments or a lump sum.
Permanent disability awards are made after an individual has reached maximum medical improvement and the permanent disability has been evaluated, thus, near the end of a workers’ compensation case. At the time a medical condition reaches a stationary level, meaning that there is no further treatment available that will improve the condition, a doctor may assess whether a worker has any permanent disability. This is often described as the “maximum medical improvement,” which describes the point at which a condition is stationary and will not improve other than with the passage of time.
The Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Act states that benefits for permanent disabilities, whether partial or total, are two-thirds of a worker’s average weekly wage, but no more than the state average weekly wage. The Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet annually announces the state average weekly wage, although it represents, in fact, the state average weekly wage from two years before. For 2016, this maximum rate has been set at $798.63.
The assistance of an experienced disability attorney can help all applicants navigate the often lengthy and complicated process of applying for disability benefits. To make sure you understand all of the terminology associated with applying for disability benefits, retain the services of an experienced, knowledgeable, and qualified Social Security Disability attorney. Contact Sullivan Law Office today. We offer free consultations, so there is absolutely nothing to lose! Call 888-587-0228 or visit us online today!