By Robert T. Reville

Systemically evaluates the California everlasting incapacity scores process used sooner than the state's fresh workers repayment.

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Additional info for An Evaluation of California's Permanent Disability Rating System

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B) (1) For purposes of this section, the “nature of the physical injury or disfigurement” shall incorporate the descriptions and measurements of physical impairments and the corresponding percentages of impairments published in the American Medical Association (AMA) Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment (5th Edition). (2) For purposes of this section, an employee’s diminished future earning capacity shall be a numeric formula based on empirical data and findings that aggregate the average percentage of long-term loss of income resulting from each type of injury for similarly situated employees.

Past RAND studies, most notably Peterson et al. (1997) and Reville et al. (2001c), have directed much attention to whether or not PPD benefits in California are adequate. The general conclusion of these studies is that replacement rates may be adequate when viewed over a relatively short period of time, say two or three years, but over a longer period of time, such as five or ten years, replacement rates fall short of the two-thirds adequacy level. Recent reform efforts in California (specifically, Assembly Bill (AB) 749, which was signed into law in February 2002) have led to increases in PPD benefits in an effort to improve the adequacy of those benefits, although when inflation is taken into account, the recent increases largely restored benefits to levels that were paid in the early 1990s (see Boden, Reville, and Biddle, 2005).

Eight pages (pages 2-7 through 2-11 and appendix pages 7-4 through 7-6) in the 1997 Rating Schedule explain how to rate shoulders and arms, amputations, limited motion of fingers, and hand-grip strength. The Physician’s ____________ 6 The Thurber volume differs from the AMA Guides in several ways. Thurber is confined to assessment of injuries to the musculoskeletal system, whereas the AMA Guides deal with all body systems, including the cardiovascular and digestive systems. For the musculoskeletal system, the Thurber approach is roughly the same as the AMA Guides approach; they both concentrate on the objective manifestations of impairment, such as restricted motion or ankylosis.

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