Things that Happen at MMI: Impairment Ratings

Jun 30, 2021 | Employment Concerns

Things that Happen at MMI: Impairment Ratings – When your doctor tells you “This is as good as it’s going to get” regarding your work injury, you’re considered at Maximum Medical Improvement. At that point you’re going to get an impairment rating, but what is that and how can it benefit you? It can get complicated but that’s why we’re here to help.

What is an MMI impairment rating?

Today we’re going to talk about MMI impairment ratings. You might be asking “what exactly is an impairment rating?” It’s a percentage, 5% to 10% or 20% to estimate your loss of bodily function. That number comes from a book called The AMA Guides to Rating Impairment The book’s objective was to figure out a system to calculate how much function someone has lost as a result of their injury. For example, if you can’t move your arm to an extent, you get a specific number of points, if you require certain surgeries, you get points, and so on. When you’re at MMI, the treating doctor is going to calculate your impairment rating using this book.


What matters and what doesn’t when it comes to determining my impairment rating?

What matters in terms of your impairment rating is primarily what body parts have been injured. Back and arm injuries are common and you’ll be asked questions like “what’s your loss of range of motion of those?” “Do you have any nerve damage?” and similar questions to determine your impairment rating.

What doesn’t matter is your employment status, the amount of time you’ve spent with the injury, and the intensity of the pain. For example, if you’ve got back pain, it doesn’t matter if your pain is mild or severe, you’re going to get the same number of points for your injury. You’re going to get a number of points and it’s going to get translated into a dollar amount.

Your impairment rating may also depend on your date of injury, on how much you’re making, on your age and it will definitely depend on the body part that you have injured as stated earlier.


Is an impairment rating a statement of my disability?

An impairment rating is not a statement informing how disabled you are. We’ve had clients with work injuries who’ve never missed a day of work, never lost any wages, continue to work, and are now making more money and they still received a huge impairment rating.


Is an impairment rating a settlement?

It is not a settlement. An impairment rating is just one of ten possible potential benefits that injured workers might receive. It’s also not the final say and it’s not a determination of your final compensation for your work injury. There’s a lot of things that you can do to improve the value of an impairment rating. But you’re going to need a worker’s compensation attorney to do it for you. There are a lot of different complicated steps that you have to take to if you’re going to fight for a good impairment rating and for those reasons, we urge you to consult with an attorney.


Don’t wait until you’ve gotten your impairment rating to talk with an attorney.

if you or someone you know and love has been injured in Colorado, Kaplan Morrell has attorneys with decades of experience helping injured workers and getting them the best impairment rating possible and we would love to help you too. Reach out and schedule a free consultation to learn more about your rights. Call us at 970-356-9898 or visit our website at for more information

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