What Are Impairment Ratings and Why Are They Important?

doctorWork-related injuries can overhaul our lives. From the loss of work time to long recovery periods, accidents that happen at work can have huge repercussions. If you’ve been involved in a work accident and have recovered to a reasonable point, you’ll most likely be asked to receive an impairment rating evaluation. Impairment ratings are significant in ensuring that injured employees who want and need to return to work are able to physically.

Sometimes, after we recover and heal from an injury, we feel as good as new but don’t realize that the injury has made long-term changes to our bodies. This is where impairment ratings come in.

What Are Impairment Ratings?

An impairment rating test is an evaluation most employees are required to undergo before returning to work after sustaining a significant work-related injury. The evaluation looks for long-term, permanent, or unknown side effects of the injury that could affect your ability to perform at your job. An impairment rating evaluation will score the following on a scale of 0 to 100%:

  • Evaluate your senses—particularly hearing and vision
  • Check limb function
  • Evaluate organ function

The physician you see will thoroughly conduct the evaluation to make sure nothing is amiss and to ensure you can safely return to work.

Why Are Impairment Ratings Important?

Impairment ratings are important because they ensure everyone who returns to work after an injury is still equipped to get the job done safely. The last thing anyone wants is to return to work after sustaining an injury only to get hurt again because an impairment is holding them back. Impairment rating evaluations prevent this from happening. They help to make sure you have healed and recovered properly and that you are capable of doing your job once more.

How to Prepare

If you have an upcoming impairment rating evaluation, the best way to prepare is to bring any relevant paperwork and information about medications since some medications, such as painkillers, may cause certain impairments. If anything else is needed, your doctor will inform you of such beforehand.

Impairment Ratings at Workmed Occupational Health

After you have recovered from an injury, you will most likely be contacted by the HR department wherever you work. They will inform you of the medical offices you can go, what’s covered by their insurance, and how they will be handling the cost. If you are sent to us, we guarantee to provide you with excellent service and care. Give us a call today to learn more.


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