How Does a Workers Comp Disability Rating Work?

Defining the Rating

The "Worker's Comp Disability Rating" is the amount per $100 of payroll required to cover expenses. The "premium," which is the insurance charge, is found by multiplying the rating with the employer's payroll divided by 100. A "rating organization" is a company or group licensed by the "Division of Insurance" that collects data from various insurance companies. The data are then used as a foundation for calculating rates that will be used by "rating organization" insurers.

Types of Disability

MMI (Maximum Medical Improvement): This means that without medical treatment, the condition will not change substantially and is considered permanent.

Impairment: Activities that have been hindered or altered due to injury or illness.


Physician's Role in Impairment Rating

The physician's role is perhaps most decisive in the ultimate disability rating. First, he must decide what was normal for the patient before the illness or injury. Ten to 18 percent impairment rating equals "whole person impairment"; this percentage is left totally up to the physician to determine. The doctor will rate everyday activities: communication, personal hygiene, movement, travel and sexual ability. Impairment ratings reflect "functional limitation," not disability.



About the Author

Matthew Di Paoli received his Bachelor of Arts degree at Boston College where he won the Dever Fellowship and the Cardinal Cushing Award for Creative Writing. He recently finished his Master of Fine Arts degree at Columbia University for fiction.