What Happens When? PPD Awards and Voc Rehab Buy-Outs


By Jason Weinstock on March 23, 2010

I have included a graphic to clarify what happens when the treating doctor tells the injured worker that he is "stable and ratable".   I have divided injured workers who are stable and ratable into two groups, depending on whether the injured worker is released to go back to work full duty, or whether the injured worker has permanent work restrictions.

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If the injured worker has permanent work restrictions, then he is assigned a vocational rehabilitation counselor if the employer does not offer a permanent light duty job within 30 days of receiving permanent work restrictions from the treating physician.  Vocational rehabilitation benefits are started also.  (They are payable every two weeks and are the same amount as the temporary total disability check the injured worker has been receiving while out of work.)  Even though the vocational rehabilitation counselor will not know how much retraining the injured worker will receive until after the permanent partial disability percentage is determined, the counselor will start meeting with the injured worker to discuss potential programs.  Alternatively, the injured worker may receive a vocational rehabilitation lump sum buy-out instead of participating in a vocational rehabilitation retraining program. How much the insurer will offer will depend on the percentage of impairment.

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