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What is an impairment rating evaluation?

On Behalf of | Apr 29, 2023 | Workers' Compensation |

Workplace injuries can result in varying levels of disability for workers. Insurance companies often require a medical evaluation to determine how much a worker’s injury impairs their ability to perform various functions.

This evaluation is an Impairment Rating Evaluation.

Who conducts an IRE?

When an insurance company requests an IRE, the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Bureau chooses the approved IRE physician that is nearest to the injured worker’s home. The Bureau also sends all of the interested parties a Notice of Designation and the worker will receive an electronic IRE appointment form.

The IRE physician performs the evaluation and provides all of the parties with a Determination Face Sheet and a medical report.

How do IREs impact workers’ compensation claims?

Employers can require workers to attend an IRE after the worker receives 104 weeks of workers’ compensation disability benefits. The IRE physician assigns an impairment rating that represents how much impairment of the workers’ body function exists.

If the rating is 35% or higher, state law presumes the worker has a continuing disability. However, if the rating is lower than that, the employer can file a Modification Petition to amend the workers’ compensation to partial disability benefits.

Impairment ratings can have a substantial impact on the compensation that workers receive. Workers who disagree with the rating they receive can appeal an adjustment of their disability status to a workers’ compensation judge.

If you are facing an unfair adjustment to your workers’ compensation benefits due to an impairment rating, our workers’ compensation specialists can help. Call 610-601-5399 or reach us online.