Disability Rating: What It Is, Why It’s Important, and How It’s Determined

A disability rating is critical because it’s used to determine the type of benefits you will receive. Call us today to schedule your free consultation.

When you visit the doctor after suffering a workplace injury, the doctor will examine the injury and give a disability rating detailing the severity of your impairment. This article explores more about disability rating, looking at what it is, how it is determined, and how it may affect your workers’ compensation claim.

What Is a Disability Rating?

The disability rating is a metric that helps determine the amount of compensation you may receive for your work-related injuries. The Missouri worker compensation system uses the guide to assess injured employee’s:

  • Ability to lift heavy objects
  • Balancing capacity
  • Ability to carry out other simple activities

Why Disability Ratings are Important

A disability rating is critical because it’s used to determine the type of benefits you will receive. So, if your disability rating is below 50 %, you will receive compensation for partial disability. Therefore, it makes sense to learn more about your disabilities before filing for compensation to ensure that your rating is accurate.

Who Determines My Disability Rating?

In Missouri, your workers’ compensation doctor will examine the severity of your injuries and assign a rating. However, the doctor must meet the following requirements:

  • They must be licensed to operate in Missouri
  • They must be certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties
  • They must be active for at least 20 hours a week
  • They must be able to determine how the disability will affect your normal job functions

If multiple body parts are impaired, different doctors may examine you to determine your disability rating properly. In addition, the doctors may use their judgment to determine what is normal based on the employee’s medical condition before the injuries.

When Does the Doctor Determine the Disability Rating?

In Missouri, your treating doctor may advise you to take a leave from work. During this time, the injured employee is examined using the “Schedule for Rating Permanent Disabilities” and given temporary disability benefits to cover the lost wages.

After 104 weeks, the doctor will write a report outlining your eligibility for permanent disability benefits per the American Medical Association (AMA) guidelines. However, this timeline may be changed if the injured worker reaches an agreement with the other party.

It’s worth noting that you have the right to receive a copy of your disability report. So make sure you go through the report to see if you agree with the doctor’s opinion.

“What if I Disagree With the Disability Report?”

You can switch to another doctor within your employer’s medical network. Generally, you have the right to seek a second opinion. So, if you don’t trust your current doctor’s report, you can seek a second opinion from up to two more doctors at any stage of your case.

Get Legal Help From the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann

Are you planning to file a workers’ compensation claim? Contact the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann. We are committed to fighting for your rights and making sure you get the compensation you deserve. Call us today to schedule your free consultation.

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Updated: November 26, 2021