Workers' Compensation and IRE's. Contact Dugan & Associates. An IRE is short for Impairment Rating Evaluation. They are different than IME's. IME's are Independent or Insurance Medical Evaluations or Exams.
If you have received 104 weeks of total disability Workers' Compensation benefits the workers compensation insurance carrier can send you for this special type of exam known as an IRE. The purpose of the IRE or Impairment Rating Exam is to determine what an injured workers percentage of impairment under the American Medical Association Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment.
Generally speaking if you are determined to be less then 50% impaired under those AMA Guidelines your payments or weekly or biweekly checks will change labels from Temporary Total Disability payments to Temporary Partial Disability payments. And under the law an injured worker can not collect more than a total of 500 weeks of partial disability. Of course this is not a guarantee that a work related injured employee will receive 500 weeks of partial payments but they cannot collect more than 500 weeks. When, in theory, an injured workmens compensation recipient can receive payments of TTD or total disability payments indefinitely.
Recently, in the Commonwealth Court of Protz v. WCAB (Derry Area School District) the court held that the proviso in Act 57 that the court use the "most recent edition" of the AMA Guides to Impairment is a violation of the Pennsylvania constitution forbidding "unconstitutional delegation of authority". Thus the question that remains open and unanswered in the law is does the changes in status made pursuant to an IRE determination issued under any editions after the Fourth Edition of the AMA Guides null and void. It is our position they are. These are cases and issues that we are litigation as the date of this writing.
If you or a loved one has questions about workers' compensation, work injury, work related injury law contact the lawyers at Dugan & Associates. There is no fee unless we get the money or benefits you deserve. Call us now at 1888-993-8426 or 1-88-99-D-U-G-A-N. If you are hurt in an accident Call us now.