Impairment Income Benefits (IIBs)
You may be entitled to Impairment Income Benefits (IIBs) if you have a permanent impairment from a work-related injury or illness. Generally, Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) is reached when you are as well as you are going to be from the work-related injury or illness. This does not mean no future medical treatment will be needed for your work-related injury, that you will be completely pain free, or that you are released to return to work. When the health care provider determines you have reached MMI, the health care provider will determine if there is any permanent physical damage to your body as a result of your injury or illness. The health care provider will assign an impairment rating (IR) using the 4th Edition of the American Medical Association (AMA) Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment. The impairment rating describes the degree of permanent damage to your body as a whole.
Your IR determines whether you are eligible for IIBs. Three (3) weeks of IIBs are paid for each percentage of impairment.
For example, if you receive a 10 percent IR, you will receive 30 weeks of IIBs because 3 weeks of IIBs are paid for each percentage of impairment (10 x 3 = 30 weeks of IIBs).
If the injured employee has not previously reached MMI, the workers' compensation law establishes MMI at 104 weeks from the date that income benefits began to accrue. A doctor that is certified by TDI-DWC to perform IR examinations must make an assessment of permanent impairment on whether the work-related injury or illness has been resolved or not. If an IR has not been assigned before the 104-week date when temporary income benefits (TIBs) end, the injured employee may not receive IIBs until a doctor assigns an IR.
In most circumstances, TIBs can no longer be paid after 104 weeks (or statutory MMI). However, an extension of the statutory MMI date may be ordered by TDI-DWC if the employee has had, or has been approved to have, spinal surgery within 12 weeks before the expiration of the 104-week period. Any order extending the date of MMI will specify a date certain for MMI.
Amount of Impairment Income Benefits
Impairment Income Benefits equal 70 percent of your average weekly wage (AWW). There is a state maximum for impairment income benefits just as there is for TIBs. The maximum for IIBs is 70 percent of the state AWW.
For example, if the state average weekly wage were $773, the maximum IIBs rate would be $541.
State average weekly wage $773
70 percent of $773 (.70 x $773) = $541
If your average weekly wage were $700, your IIBs rate would be $490.
Average weekly wage $700
70 percent of $700 (.70 x $700) = $490
If your average weekly wage is higher than the state average weekly wage of $773, such as $925.50, you will not receive 70 percent of $925.50. Instead, you will receive $541 per week, the maximum IIBs rate allowed by law.
Average weekly wage $925.50
70 percent of $925.50 (.70 x $925.50)=$647.85 ($541 maximum limit for IIBs)
When Impairment Benefits Begin and End
You become eligible for Impairment Income Benefits (IIBs) the day after you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI). IIBs end after you have received a total of three (3) weeks of payments for each percentage of your impairment rating.
For example, if you have an impairment rating of 6 percent, you would receive a total of 18 weeks of IIBs.
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Last updated: 01/30/2014