Going through the steps to gain compensation or insurance payments for an injury that occurred at work is often an extensive, time-consuming and emotionally draining process. You often need to be aware of deadlines and time limits as well, along with the various evaluations you may need.
Permanency evaluations could make up one of these necessary components. But what are these evaluations? How do they work, and how do they impact you?
What are permanency evaluations?
Northern Neurology Specialties defines permanency evaluations and reports. First, “permanency” is simply a way of referring to any sort of disability or impairment that doctors consider permanent. The doctor must have the qualifications necessary in order to evaluate you. After said evaluation, they will then look up any injuries you have in a book, “Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment”.
After this, they convert your information into a percentage that represents loss of function. In other words, 100% impairment to a finger means that you have no use of it whatsoever. Whole person impairment shows how much any one injury affects the entire body. For example, a thumb can potentially represent a 26% impairment of the whole person.
When can insurance companies act?
The Board will issue an EC-81.7 to the insurance company when you get a permanency evaluation done. They have a certain frame of time to work within if they wish to have their own, separate evaluation. Most often, this period will last 75 days. Though recent upheavals in healthcare resulted in an extension of this time and more leniency with late evaluations, this is no longer the case. Insurance companies must complete their secondary evaluation within 75 days for it to count.