For some people, a workers’ compensation claim is straightforward and brief. They need emergency care right after an accident on the job and potentially short-term disability benefits if they need 6 weeks off of work to recover. For others, workers’ compensation claims will be far more complicated and drawn out because of the severity of their injuries.
Someone who has permanent functional losses because of a workplace injury or a work-acquired medical condition may require permanent partial disability benefits. Such benefit requests are often subject to more scrutiny than short-term disability claims or medical benefit requests.
Obtaining an accurate impairment rating is an important part of getting those benefits.
Medical professionals have to affirm your condition
Workers who will have lasting consequences from a job-related medical condition might qualify for permanent disability benefits. If someone will never be able to work again, they can get permanent total disability benefits that amount to two-thirds of their average weekly wage before their injury or illness.
If someone has to take lower-paying work, permanent partial disability benefits will cover some of their lost income. Obtaining an impairment rating is a part of the process for getting those benefits. Only after the Industrial Commission has affirmed the degree of your impairment based on medical records will you know what disability benefits you can receive.
A physician will have to look at your current functional limitations and establish an impairment rating. The more severe the impact of your medical condition on your daily life or work abilities, the higher the rating will likely be and the more you can potentially receive in benefits.
Your impairment rating will ultimately determine how much you receive
If you have a permanent partial disability that will forever impact what you make and limit your future career opportunities, you will need ongoing support.
Although injured employees should always be able to count on workers’ compensation, both businesses paying for coverage and the insurance companies themselves may have a financial interest in minimizing the benefits that an applicant receives. Learn more about your rights, including the right to appeal or seek a second opinion, to protect yourself after a work injury.
Learning more about workers’ compensation benefits in North Carolina will help you make the most of your situation if you need to file a claim.