When you make a workers’ comp claim, at some point, you need to undergo a permanent impairment assessment. Triple board-certified physiatrist Stanley Mathew, MD, of American Rehabilitation Medicine in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Dubuque, Iowa, provides expert disability consultations for patients who need an independent disability rating. Call American Rehabilitation Medicine today to schedule an appointment or use the online booking form.
What are disability consultations?
Disability consultations at American Rehabilitation Medicine are an assessment of your condition that determines the extent of any disability you have.
Dr. Mathew conducts a physical exam and relevant tests so he can accurately evaluate how much impairment you have. He then uses his findings to determine the correct disability ratings, following state-required guidelines.
When you make a claim for workers’ compensation, the doctor treating you may prefer not to carry out your disability consultation as well.
It’s also likely that your employer’s insurance company will ask for an independent medical examination on which to base your compensation for permanent disability.
Dr. Mathew is highly experienced in carrying out disability consultations and providing accurate, fair assessments of permanent disability.
When would I need a disability consultation?
In the early stages of your recovery from a work-related injury, you receive appropriate care and any treatment available that could help your condition improve.
At some point, there won’t be anything your doctor can do to improve your health any further, which is called maximum medical improvement.
When you reach this point, it means that although you may improve further over the course of time, there are no more treatments available that can benefit you. At this point, you need to undergo a disability consultation to determine your rating for a permanent impairment award.
The Iowa Division of Workers’ Compensation is the governing body responsible for the permanent impairment award ratings.
What happens at a disability consultation?
Dr. Mathew needs to examine you to see how well you can function and grade any permanent loss of function. As well as a physical exam, he might run some tests, but these will be noninvasive.
As well as examining your impairment, Dr. Mathew also needs to assess any overall physical or mental issues. Once he has all the information he needs, he uses the Iowa state guidelines to rate your permanent disability.
Each part of your body that’s impaired can have a separate rating, or your ratings may be combined to reach a whole person impairment rating. This is expressed as a percentage up to 100%, based on your degree of impairment and how your income is likely to be affected in the future.