WCLA MCLE 11-12-12. AMA Guides: Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission Decisions Monday November 12, 2012 Springfield Hilton; Springfield, IL 12 noon to 3pm 3 hours general CLE credit. Commission Decisions from 1981-2011.
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The permanent results from various types of injuries are not the same in each case nor are they static over time. Not only do permanent results of particular disabilities differ among individuals (some heal better than others, some have sufficient training and ability to return to work where others can not) but the results of injuries also change over time as medical technology and society changed. The availability of work that can be done by people with physical limitations has increased as medical and industrial technology has changed. Availability and expertise of physical and vocational rehabilitation experts is improving, and employers are increasingly willing to provide rehabilitation or different work to employees with limitations due to industrial injuries. All of these factors must be reflected in Commission decisions. As reality further changes, parties must bring in evidence of relevant medical, technological and social conditions to insure that Commission decisions accurately reflect them. (page 5)
For accidental injuries that occur on or after September 1, 2011, permanent partial disability shall be established using the following criteria:
(a) A physician licensed to practice medicine in all of its branches preparing a permanent partial disability impairment report shall report the level of impairment in writing. The report shall include an evaluation of medically defined and professionally appropriate measurements of impairment that include, but are not limited to: loss of range of motion; loss of strength; measured atrophy of tissue mass consistent with the injury ;and any other measurements that establish the nature and extent of the impairment. The most current edition of the American Medical Association's "Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment" shall be used by the physician in determining the level of impairment.
(b) In determining the level of permanent partial disability, the Commission shall base its
determination on the following factors: (i)the reported level of impairment pursuant to
subsection (a); (ii) the occupation of the injured employee; (iii) the age of the employee at the
time of the injury; (iv) the employee's future earning capacity; and (v) evidence of disability
corroborated by the treating medical records. No single enumerated factor shall be the sole
determinant of disability. In determining the level of disability, the relevance and weight of
any factors used in addition to the level of impairment as reported by the physician must be
explained in a written order.
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