According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 5,333 fatal work injuries were recorded in Minnesota in 2019. This was a 2% increase from the 5,250 recorded injuries in 2018.
Being injured on the job, regardless of the severity or cause, shouldn’t be taken lightly. Workplace injuries can significantly affect the quality of your life in different ways.
For instance, workplace injuries can lead to physical impairment, making it challenging for you to walk, run, or carry items. Some injuries might even cause psychological impairments resulting in anxiety and depression.
You’ll likely have a lot of questions after you’ve been injured at work. Can you return to work after the injury? If you can, what kind of tasks can your body take? An impairment rating evaluation can determine the answers to these questions.
What is an Impairment?
One issue that arises when a worker gets injured is the question of impairment. Defined, impairment is a problem that affects how your body functions and prevents you from using your body the same way you did before the injury. Impairments can affect your physical or mental wellbeing and can be permanent, temporary, mild, or severe.
How your impairments are evaluated can affect your ability to resume working and, therefore, influence your benefits, compensations, and Social Security Claims.
For instance, if you incur permanent impairment from your workplace injury, you can pursue larger and longer benefits. When you have permanent impairments, expect that you’ll have to secure impairment ratings (discussed in the next sections) from a doctor to determine the severity of the injury.
What is an Impairment Rating Evaluation?
An impairment rating is a number that a doctor assigns to your injury and is meant to be the percentage of injury you have in your body. Doctors can give an impairment rating of 0 to 100. Employers and insurers will use this number to understand how severe the worker’s injuries are and how the injury can affect the worker’s ability to perform tasks.
Aside from this, the impairment rating given by the doctor can also help determine how long the worker has to receive compensation or benefits, how much the worker will receive, and whether he or she can resume working.
Impairment Rating Evaluation and Workers’ Compensation: How They’re Connected
Impairment ratings are essential when claiming workers’ compensation, which is why it’s vital that you understand the connection between the two. This information will help you determine the amount of your compensation and benefits depending on how severe your injuries are.
Workers’ compensation is meant to protect workers and employees when workplace injuries occur. The employer pays this type of insurance to the worker to cover expenses associated with the injury.
If you receive a medical impairment rating of more than 50%, you are considered a total temporary disability, which means that you can no longer go back to work. When this happens, you can keep claiming workers’ compensations benefits without any time limits.
On the other hand, if you receive a medical impairment rating of less than 50%, you will be entitled to temporary and permanent partial disability benefits, and you’ll be able to return to work in some capacity. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you might return to work with the same workload, or your employer might reduce some of your tasks.
The amount and duration of the compensation you can get based on your impairment rating vary per state. If you’re injured from work, you need to learn the rules and regulations of your state to determine what your benefits are after a workplace injury.
What Does a 10% Impairment Rating Mean?
Getting a 10% impairment rating will qualify you to receive temporary and permanent partial disability benefits. In Minnesota, you can receive temporary partial disability benefits if you can work but earn less than your pre-injury wages because of your injuries. Permanent partial disability benefits are given after you recover from your injuries.
Temporary Partial Disability Benefits
The Temporary Partial Disability, or TPD, benefits in Minnesota are two-thirds of the difference between your pre-and post-injury wages (up to the same maximum amount for temporary total disability benefits). For example, if you earned $1,500 weekly but now only $1,000 because of your injuries, you can get $500 in TPD benefits.
You will stop receiving TPD benefits after between 250 and 450 weeks have passed, depending on your situation. Even if you’re not working because of your injuries, you’ll only have a limited time to receive your TPD benefits.
To ensure that you receive just compensation for your injuries, it’s always best to work with workers compensation lawyers in Minnesota.
Permanent Partial Disability
When you reach your Maximum Medical Improvement (occurs when the doctor reports that your injury can no longer improve or you’re healed from the injury), your doctor will give you a total body impairment rating in percentage. This rating will determine the amount of your permanent partial disability or PPD benefits.
To compute your PPD benefits in Minnesota, you need to multiply your impairment rating by a dollar. If you have a 10% total body impairment rating, your benefits will be $7,400 if you earn $74,000 in a year (computation: $74,000 x .10).
PPD benefits can be paid in a lump sum or installments.
Always Hire Professionals When Injured at Work
Being injured on the job is a serious matter. Aside from missing days of work and earning less than usual, injuries incurred from work can also take a toll on your physical and mental wellbeing. Some injuries can also cause paralysis and even death.
If you’ve been injured at your workplace, always seek legal help. Our team of workers compensation lawyers in Minnesota will ensure that your rights are protected and that you’re properly compensated by your employer and the insurance company.
If you’re interested to learn more about Osterbauer Law Firm and how we can help, contact us at 612-334-3434 or fill out this form. We have the skills and experience to ensure that your employer gives you just compensation for your injuries.