A worker injured in the course of work in New Hampshire may qualify for a permanent impairment award. This is a payment the worker is to receive if the work injury causes a permanent loss of the normal use of certain parts of the body. This isn’t a settlement of the claim. It is the payment of one of the four benefits to which an injured worker is entitled: weekly disability payments, payment of medical bill, assistance in returning to employment, and a permanent impairment award. For calculating the amount of a permanent impairment award, the law assigns different numbers to different parts of the body. An arm, for example, is assigned the number 210. If, in accordance with a required American Medical Association system of measurement, the medical evidence establishes that the worker has lost 20% of the normal use of the arm as result of the work injury, the worker is to be paid 20% of 210, or 42, multiplied by 60% of the worker’s pre-injury gross average weekly wage. Upon approval by the New Hampshire Department of Labor, this award is paid to the worker.
For this award, various conditions have to be met: the injury is agreed or proven to have been from work activity, the impairment is an eligible condition under the law, the injury has healed as much as it’s going to, the loss of use is properly measured by a physician. It should be noted that the fee which a physician will charge for performing a permanent impairment rating is the responsibility of the workers’ compensation insurance company.
Not every injured worker is entitled to a permanent impairment award. The workers’ compensation lawyers at Winer and Bennett, LLP, will make sure that that benefit, and any other benefit you’re due as a result of a work injury, is paid to you. Call them at (603) 882-5157 for a free consultation.