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Impairment Rating Exams and workers' compensation

If you've received a total disability award in your workers' compensation claim, your impairment rating will be a key component in your continued receipt of those benefits. Although you may be able to receive disability benefits indefinitely under Pennsylvania's workers' compensation laws, after two years of benefits, you'll likely have to have your impairment rating evaluated.

Impairment ratings are evaluated in what is called an Impairment Rating Exam (IRE). These exams are intended to prevent non-impaired workers from continuing to receive benefits when they are fully able to return back to work.

Usually, insurance companies will try to ensure that they're not paying you disability benefits for longer than 500 weeks, so IRE exams could become stricter over time. This is not only inappropriate, but it's also unconscionable and unfair to deny a worker the benefits he or she requires.

Unlike an Independent Medical Exam (IME), which you might have had when applying for your workers' compensation benefits, the IRE will be performed by a doctor chosen by the insurance company that is paying your workers' compensation benefits. As such, IME's can sometimes result in medical evaluations that downplay your state of disability.

If your disability status has been inappropriately downgraded as a result of a biased Impairment Rating Exam, you can challenge the results of your IRE. An experienced workers' compensation lawyer, such as the lawyers at Wolf, Baldwin & Associates can help you challenge an inaccurate or biased IRE that is intended to deny you of the disability benefits you have a legal right to receive.

Our attorneys have assisted numerous Pennsylvania workers to keep their disability and wage replacement benefits; however, it's important that you act as soon as possible to ensure that you don't lose vital financial support when you need it most.

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