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How Does a PD Rating Affect Workers’ Compensation Disability Benefits?

 Posted on May 27,2021 in Workers' Compensation

morgan hill workers compensation lawyerPeople who suffer work-related injuries are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits cover the costs of medical care, and if an injured worker is required to miss work or suffers a loss of income, they may also receive disability benefits. While temporary disability benefits will apply in situations where a person cannot work or can only work at a reduced capacity for a short period of time, permanent disability benefits may be available for those who have suffered permanent impairments to their ability to earn an income. However, the process of determining the amount an injured worker can receive in permanent disability benefits can be complicated, and it involves the calculation of a PD rating.

How Is a PD Rating Determined?

Before a person can qualify for permanent disability (PD) benefits, a doctor will need to determine that they have reached the point in their treatment where their medical condition is permanent and stationary (P&S). This is also known as maximum medical improvement (MMI). At this point, the doctor will send a report to the Department of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) that specifies the person’s level of impairment using an “impairment number” while also noting whether there were any non-work-related factors that contributed to the impairment.

The DWC’s Disability Evaluation Unit (DEU) will review the doctor’s report and use the impairment number to calculate the person’s percentage of disability. This will indicate the amount of loss of their bodily or mental functions that would affect their ability to return to working in the position they held before being injured. This percentage may then be reduced based on the amount of the disability that was the result of any issues unrelated to the work a person performed. The resulting amount is known as the PD rating, which will be used to determine the total amount of benefits the person will receive for their permanent disability.

If an injured worker disagrees with their doctor’s evaluation of their disability, they can request an evaluation by a Qualified Medical Evaluator (QME) who has been certified to perform disability-related examinations by the DWC Medical Unit. If a person believes the PD rating determined by the DEU is incorrect, they can pursue an appeal and ask to have their case reviewed by an administrative law judge.

Contact Our Morgan Hill Workers’ Comp Disability Benefits Attorney

When addressing disability benefits in a workers’ compensation claim or appealing the denial of benefits, it is crucial to work with an attorney who is experienced in these matters. At Cramer & Martinez, LLP, we believe in standing up for the rights of injured workers, and we can help you follow the right procedures and meet the requirements to receive the benefits you deserve. Contact our Hollister workers’ compensation lawyers today at 408-848-1113 to set up a free consultation.


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