The widespread use of the AMA Guides to Permanent Impairment in Connecticut Workers Compensation cases is an unconstitutional delegation of legislative power to the publishers of the AMA Guides.
One of the most important benefits under the Workers Compensation Act is the ability to collect a permanent partial disability (PPD) award for a permanent injury. The amount you collect will depend upon your compensation rate, and your disability rating. Your compensation rate is a function of your wages. The higher your wages, the higher your compensation rate up to a limit. But your disability rating will be based on the AMA Guides to permanent impairment.
This means that when your doctor evaluates you to determine you disability rating, your doctor will calculate your permanent partial disability (PPD) award for a permanent injury based upon the AMA Guides. This means that when the AMA Guides are amended every couple of years so is the foundation upon which your doctor will use to determine your disability rating, and also your permanent partial disability (PPD) award. The editors of the AMA Guides make significant changes every now and then. The same medical condition under the AMA Guides 5th Edition might be viewed much differently when compared to the AMA Guides 6th Edition.
But shouldn’t such an important policy choice be made by the legislature—the people elected to protect your interests and create good public policy?
Yes, and that is my point.
We have given much too much power to the publishers of the AMA Guides. Instead, we (Connecticut) should have our own Guides set up by the Workers Compensation Commission. Our workers deserve that.
If you or anyone you know have suffered an injury on the job that is serious enough to warrant hiring a lawyer to handle the case for you contact the Southeastern Connecticut workers compensation lawyers at The Bartinik Law Firm, PC., 100 Fort Hill Road, Groton, CT., at 860 445 8521 or toll free at 888 717 4211.