Once you reach maximum medical improvement from your Texas work injury, a doctor will perform an impairment rating exam. If you have any permanent impairment resulting from your work injury, then you will be owed impairment income benefits. These benefits are not a settlement of your case. However, they are the closest thing Texas has to a settlement of a workers’ comp claim.
When Impairment Income Benefits Are Paid
You will be owed impairment income benefits beginning the day after you reach maximum medical improvement. Not the day after you receive the impairment rating report, but the day after your certified maximum medical improvement date. You will find this date on the front of the official form that came with your impairment rating. On that form, a DWC-69, you will see both a maximum medical improvement date and an impairment rating percentage. You are owed IIBs beginning on the day after the assigned MMI date. The adjuster has to issue a check within 5 days of receiving a copy of the impairment rating.
Impairment income benefits will continue weekly as long as you are owed benefits. To calculate this period, multiply your impairment rating by 3. That is how many weeks you are owed IIBs. So, if you got a 5% impairment rating, you are owed 15 weeks of IIBs. Those fifteen weeks are calculated beginning the day after your assigned MMI date. This means that if the doctor “back-dated” your MMI date, then you may need to file a dispute ASAP. If your assigned MMI date was more than 15 weeks ago, the insurance company may claim that they don’t owe you anything at all!
How Much Will You Get Paid For IIBs?
Impairment income benefits are calculated based on your average weekly wage. The insurance adjuster is required to pay you 70% of your AWW for each week that IIBs are owed. The minimum rate for these benefits is $151.00 if you were injured after October 1, 2020. The maximum is $705.00. So, if 70% of your average weekly wage is higher than $705.00, you still get the lower amount. You are entitled to these benefits if you have any permanent impairment. It doesn’t matter if you had any disability at all after your injury, you are still entitled to IIBs.
If you get an impairment rating or an MMI date that needs to be disputed, you have to act fast to file a dispute. There is a ninety-day deadline to get that done. If you wait until the impairment income benefits are paid out, it could be too late.
If you get an impairment rating and you are still unable to work, you may qualify for social security disability. Call us to find out whether you can turn your workers’ comp case into social security disability benefits.