In 2011, the law changed as to how your permanent partial disability, your settlement/award is calculated. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation was amended to reflect that in all cases when the accident occurs after September 1, 2011, the Judge in calculating compensation/permanent partial disability should base its determination on factors including (i) An impairment rating; (ii) Occupation of the injured employee; (iii) Age of the employee at the time of the injury; (iv) employee’s future earning capacity; and (v) evidence of disability corroborated by the treating medical records. 820 ILCS 305/8.1b (West 2012)) provides as follows concerning the determination of PPD benefits: Impairment rating under AMA six edition is nothing but a grid system. Impairment is not the same thing as disability, the measure used to determine the compensation for the injured employee. The rating does not count for your pain, permanent restrictions, multiple injuries and prospective medical treatment. The insurance companies have been very fond of the impairment rating because some Judges in the past have given a lesser award in cases where there has been an impairment rating done. Traditionally, the impairment rating has not been required but is usually done if the employer requests it.
Recently, an employer tried to argue that pursuant to section 8.1b of the act, the injured worker has to have an impairment rating in all the cases. They argued that having an impairment rating is a prerequisite before compensation can be determined. The Illinois Appellate court addressed this issue recently in the case of Corn Belt Energy Corp. v. Illinois Workers’ Comp. Comm’n, 2016 IL App (3d) 150311WC. The Appellate court held that the language of section 8.1b does not require either the employer or injured worker to have an impairment rating. They stated that not having an impairment rating does not bar the injured worker for making a permanent partial disability recovery. The court emphasized that impairment rating is one of the factors in calculating disability and it is not a prerequisite before disability can be calculated.
The insurance companies always try to minimize your disability and settlement. At Strong Law Offices, we do our best to maximize your settlement. Please contact Strong Law Offices to obtain a free consultation regarding your injuries.