Workers compensation disability ratings are used to estimate how much a particular injury affects the ability of an individual to perform daily activities. The rating is assigned by a doctor following the completion of medical treatment, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Disability ratings are assigned at a stage when workers have experienced the maximum degree of medical improvement. If the impairment continues to interfere with work or daily activities at this point, a rating is assigned. Physicians often refer to the American Medical Association Guide to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment for assistance in selecting the proper rating. States including Florida, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Utah, Oregon and Wisconsin have state-specific guidelines for this process, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Some states require that only American Board of Medical Specialties certified specialty personnel can carry out the rating procedure. Other states such as Texas allow any physician to perform impairment ratings as long as they have a clean medical record free from disciplinary orders.
In total, there are four disability categories: temporary total disability, temporary partial disability, permanent partial disability and permanent total disability. Compensation is contingent on state residence, however, cases of complete impairment from worksite injuries garner permanent disability benefits, says the Houston Chronicle.