Workers’ Compensation Affected by Recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court Decision

Jill Root Business Insurance, Insurance, Third Party Claim Administration

A recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision, Protz v. WCAB (Derry Area School District), stated the American Medical Association (AMA) guide for evaluating permanent impairment to an injured worker is unconstitutional. Since 1996 Impairment Rating Evaluations (IREs) were used in the management of Workers’ Compensation claims to cap the indemnity exposure on certain claims in which an injured worker was paid Total Temporary Disability (TTD) Benefits for 104 weeks. An IRE could be performed, and if the results were below 50% whole person impairment per the most recent edition of the AMA Impairment Guidelines, then the Injured Worker’s disability status would change from total to partial and the Injured Worker, at most, would only be entitled to 500 remaining weeks of …