Whole person ratings are often miscalculated, leading to reduced workers’ compensation benefits. Working with a work injury attorney can help ensure that workers are assigned appropriate whole person ratings based on the severity and nature of their injuries.
How are Whole Person Ratings Assigned?
Person-as-a-whole, also known as man-as-a-whole or 8(d)(2) benefits are a type of permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits that are available to injured workers who suffer permanent and serious injuries. A whole person rating is based on how a permanent injury from a workplace accident affects the injured worker’s entire body. This rating is normally calculated as a percentage that refers to the degree of how the injured worker is viewed as being able-bodied. A common injury where a whole person rating would be pursued would be a traumatic brain injury. This is because a TBI can negatively affect multiple body functions that could lead to permanent disability.
An injured worker’s PPD is typically 60 percent of his or her average weekly wage. Section (10) of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act provides four ways to calculate the average weekly wage.
Once the average weekly wage has been calculated, it then must be equal, or more than 66 2/3 percent of the total of the Federal minimum wage or Illinois’ minimum wage multiplied by 40 hours; whichever is greater. The percentage rate is increased by 10 percent for each spouse and child, but the rate cannot exceed the workers average weekly wage or 100 percent of the total minimum wage calculation.
Who is Entitled to Whole Person Ratings?
Under Section 8(d)(2) of the Act, whole person ratings are available to workers who are injured in work accidents where the worker:
- Has serious and permanent injuries that are not covered by the Act’s scheduled or disfigurement injury sections.
- Has injuries covered by the schedule or disfigurement injury sections, but also received additional injuries that resulted in physical impairment that would prevent him from pursuing other suitable occupations.
- Is partially incapacitated from injuries that would prevent him from performing his normal job duties but does not cause an impairment of earning capacity.
- Chooses to receive person-as-a-whole benefits versus wage differential benefits he is entitled to because of loss of earning capacity.