Your injured employee has been receiving treatment for a workplace injury. Unfortunately, it looks like the injured part of their body will have some level of impairment from now on. This is called a Permanent Partial Disability, or PPD, so let’s see what it means for your injured employee and your company.
How does PPD impact the claim?
PPD comes just before claim closure. It’s an acknowledgement that, even though the claim is closing, the injured worker has not returned to their pre-injury status. A qualified medical provider examines the injured employee and assigns an impairment rating based on loss of bodily function. All PPD rating amounts are set by the legislature and are based on either percentages or categories. These charts are used to determine the payment that will be made to your injured employee by L&I.
Award amounts change every July 1st and the schedule to use is based on the injured worker’s date of injury, not when the rating is determined. So, if your employee is rated next week for an injury that occurred on October 15, 2018, you’ll need to look back at the 2018 schedule on the L&I webpage for PPD Award Schedules to find the amount. If you’re an Approach client, your retro coordinator will help you determine the award amount for the type of injury. We also review each award to ensure it’s accurate, or else we will contest the payment on your behalf.
PPD and Rates
PPD’s tend to occur more when there is an increase in claim severity, i.e., when injuries result in surgical intervention. The PPD award can also cause your L&I rates to go up, because L&I will charge nearly $5 to your account for each $1 of PPD it actually pays.
So, PPD is great example of why we’re always talking with our clients about workplace safety along with programs such as Stay At Work. By reducing overall injuries, reducing the severity of injuries, and providing light duty work, you’ll see savings on your account when it’s time to set rates.
Learn more about PPD and workers’ comp
If you manage lots of workers’ comp claims and want to take a closer look at advanced topics like PPD, sign up for our next Claims 201 class, designed for HR and safety professionals who want a better understanding of common claim situations that can either help control costs or have a negative financial impact. Registration is open to current Approach clients and there’s no charge to attend.