How Do You Rate Permanent Partial Disability?


Quick Answer

The severity of a permanent partial disability is solely determined by a medical professional, explains Nolo. The process of rating such disabilities is initiated when an injured individual recovers to the fullest extent allowed by contemporary medical technology, a state referred to as maximum medical improvement.

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Generally, permanent partial disabilities refer to injuries that irreversibly render workers unable to perform at full capacity, notes Nolo. In contrast, conditions that completely impair the capacity to work, such as total paralysis and the loss of both arms, are referred to as total disabilities.

Back injuries are the most prevalent of all permanent partial disabilities, explains Nolo. Other medical conditions placed in this category include post-traumatic stress disorders, nerve damage, hearing loss, loss of vision in a single eye and knee injuries. Carpal tunnel syndrome and loss of body parts, such as fingers or hands, are also regarded as permanent partial disabilities.

Compensation rates for permanent partial disabilities are typically based on the severity of the impairment and the compensation schedule in the state of residence, states Nolo. The same impairment can thus attract varying compensation rates in different geographical jurisdictions. In some states, lost potential future earnings, such as lost or decreased wages, are considered when determining suitable compensation rates.

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