Who determines how long I can stay on workers’ compensation?
Well, it’s unfortunate that the workers’ compensation systems across the country are now depending on the American Medical Association’s guide to impairment ratings to determine how long a person should stay on workers’ compensation and what he should receive. These evaluations and guides that the insurance company doctors will do don’t measure what a person can do at work, only what a person can do at home. In Pennsylvania, you need to be at least 50% disabled under these impairment-rating guides in order to receive workers’ compensation. To tell you how Draconian they are, a person in a wheelchair on a ventilator is only 60% disabled. These impairment ratings are being written and underwritten by the insurance industry. They hire the doctors that are the hired guns with a full understanding that they’re not there to help people who are hurt on the job. They’re there to help the insurance industry get people off the workers’ compensation rolls, and frequently on the welfare rolls, because there’s nowhere else for them to go. So, when we see the AMA guides, the latest edition, the sixth edition, makes it 60% more difficult for people to meet the minimum threshold to stay on workers’ compensation, and that’s just wrong.