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  • John Larrimer

What Is a 30% Impairment Rating? A Concise Guide to Employee Rights

An employee with a physical or mental impairment that limits their ability to perform the essential functions of their job can be eligible for a particular type of leave called a "disability leave." With this disability leave, if the employee cannot return to work when their medical provider recommends, they may be eligible for an Impairment Rating.


This rating will determine whether or not the employee can continue working for the company and how much money they will receive from Vocational Rehabilitation (VR). Moreover, this article explains what an Impairment Rating is, what factors go into calculating one, and how employers can support employees with disabilities.


What Is A 30% Impairment Rating?

What Is a 30% Impairment Rating?


A 30% Impairment Rating means that an employee's impairment limits them from working at least 30% of their usual duties at work. While every workplace will have different standards for productivity, this is the basic level of performance most employers expect from employees.


Note that Impairment Ratings exist for employees receiving VR services, not for everyone with a disability in the workplace. If a person can't perform at least 30% of the tasks of their job, they may not be able to keep working for the company at all. There are also 10% impairment ratings you may be interested in learning more about.


How Is an Impairment Rating Determined?


To determine an Impairment Rating, an employee's VR counselor will use one of three methods: The Grid Method, the Skills Analysis Method, or the Job Analysis Method.


The Grid Method is used to determine an Impairment Rating if the employee only has a visual or hearing impairment, is blind, or has a severe cognitive impairment.


Counselors use the Skills Analysis Method when the employee has a visual or hearing impairment, a physical impairment that does not affect the lower limbs, or a cognitive impairment that does not impact the ability to perform simple tasks.


A VR counselor uses the Job Analysis Method when the employee has a physical impairment that affects the lower limbs, a physical impairment that affects the upper torso, a physical impairment that affects the whole body, or a cognitive impairment that affects the ability to perform tasks.


How Does a 30% Impairment Rating Affect Employees?


The VR counselor can give a 30% Impairment Rating to employees with any disability, whether physical, mental, or emotional. Employees given an Impairment Rating at this level must be accommodated and allowed to continue working, as long as their disability is unlikely to improve.


If an employee with a 30% Impairment Rating gets recommended to go on VR services by their medical provider, they may be eligible for a paid leave of absence. At the same time, they need to receive assistance to improve their condition. Workers with this percentage of Impairment rating do not qualify for Short-term Disability (STD) or Long-term Disability (LTD) benefits.


However, if an employee with this percentage of Impairment Rating is likely to be out of work for a long time, it may be time to start planning for their long-term absence. An employer should consider hiring a temporary replacement or offering a modified or different position for the employee to return.


Employees' Rights With An Impairment Rating

Employees' Rights with an Impairment Rating


An employee with a 30% Impairment Rating has the same legal rights as any other employee for accommodations. If the employee needs help fighting for their legal rights, they should reach out to a workers comp law firm in Columbus OH. The employer must provide any help needed for the employee to do the essential functions of their job, as long as it does not create an undue hardship for the company.


Employees with this Impairment Rating percentage can also use any benefits they are entitled to, which include any company pension or health insurance plans the company offers, and any programs related to the employee's condition.


Conclusion


An employee's disability and ability to perform the essential functions of their work determine their Impairment Rating. Employees with a 30% Impairment Rating can receive VR services if they are likely to be out of work for a long time.


Employees with this Impairment Rating percentage have the same legal rights as any other employee for accommodations. Furthermore, if anyone has any questions about helping an employee with a disability, they can call (614) 820-1855 to talk with a Larrimer & Larrimer lawyer specializing in disability law.


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