If you have been seriously injured at work in Texas, it may be weeks or months before you fully recover and can go back to work. However, some injured workers never fully recover and face a lifetime of reduced ability to perform normal work functions. For people who have been permanently affected by a workplace injury, their Texas Impairment Rating determines how much compensation they may receive in Impairment Income Benefits. If you’re wondering what is a good impairment rating, here is an explanation of the Texas Impairment Rating Payout Calculator, how it affects your benefits, and how an experienced Texas workers’ compensation attorney can help fight for your rights.
What Happens When a Worker is Seriously Injured in Texas?
An impairment rating payout calculator in Texas is done after an employee has been seriously injured at work. However, impairment ratings are not performed right away: they are part of a lengthy workers’ compensation process. Here is an overview of the first steps taken after a worker is injured:
- The worker receives timely and appropriate medical care. If you have been injured at work, the most important thing is to take care of your health. Receive emergency medical care if necessary, and report your injury to your employer as soon as it is safe to do so.
- The worker begins to receive Temporary Income Benefits (TIB). If your income is reduced due to work-related illness or injury for more than seven days, you are entitled to Temporary Income Benefits. Your employer provides a record of your earnings for the previous 13 weeks to determine an average weekly wage. Temporary Income Benefits are equal to 70 percent of your average weekly wage and are provided until you have recovered from your injury.
Temporary Income Benefits continue until one of these conditions are met:
- The employee recovers full functionality and can return to work
- 104 weeks have passed
- A medical doctor determines that you have reached your Maximum Medical Improvement
In the case of permanent loss of ability, a doctor may certify that you have reached “Maximum Medical Improvement,” and further medical care will have little to no effect on restoring you to pre-injury functionality.
It is only after an injured worker has been receiving temporary benefits for 104 weeks, or has reached Maximum Medical Improvement, that the Texas Impairment Rating Calculation is performed, and the Impairment Rating Payout takes place.
What is the Texas Impairment Rating Payout Calculator?
If an employee is permanently impaired as a result of a workplace injury, and further medical care is unlikely to improve their condition, a doctor makes an impairment assessment.
The impairment assessment is calculated as a percentage of whole-body functionality.
For example, if you have permanent loss of functionality in your little finger, a doctor may assess you as having “1 percent impairment.” If you have reduced functionality in your right arm, it may be assessed as “20 percent impairment”. Spine injuries may cause even more impairment.
How Does the Texas Impairment Rating Affect Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
The Impairment Rating determines how many weeks of Impairment Income Benefits an injured worker is entitled to. You get three weeks of Impairment Income Benefits for every percentage point of impairment. For example, if you have 10 percent impairment, you are entitled to 30 weeks of impairment income benefits.
For the purposes of calculating the maximum impairment rating payout, a higher number is better for the employee, because it entitles them to more weeks of Impairment Income Benefits.
Impairment Income Benefits, like Temporary Income Benefits, are equal to 70 percent of your average weekly wage, subject to Texas minimum and maximum limits.
How Can a San Antonio Workers’ Comp Attorney Help Injured Workers?
If you have been seriously injured at work, it is important to contact an attorney right away. The Texas Impairment Rating Calculation is a complicated process, and any miscalculation along the way can cost you the benefits you are entitled to. Two of the most common mistakes made in impairment ratings are:
- Inaccurate average weekly wage. The average weekly wage should reflect gross weekly pay, including overtime, bonuses, benefits, and perks. Many employers submit inaccurate information about your wages, which reduces benefit payouts throughout the recovery process.
- Inaccurate impairment ratings. When it comes to impairment ratings, every percent counts, and some doctors are more likely to lower impairment ratings in a way that benefits employers and their insurance companies, rather than benefiting the patient.
Whether your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance or not, a qualified attorney can help you get all the benefits you are entitled to, and help you decide whether you need to take your case to court.
At Aaron Allison, we have decades of experience fighting for the rights of injury victims and pursuing workers’ comp claims in Texas. We offer free consultations to help you understand your rights, and get all the benefits you are guaranteed by law. Contact us today for more information.