Morgan’s Tip of the Week – 2 + 2 Isn’t Always 4

Greetings, this is true not only of how things go in 2020, but also in calculating Florida Impairment ratings.

For Impairment ratings, Florida physicians are supposed to use the 1996 Florida Uniform Permanent Impairment Rating Schedule (or FUPIRS for short*).  The guide has a chart on pages 116-117  for combining multiple body parts, and 2 plus 2 isn’t necessarily 4 (it actually is a 4% in the book).  However, for example a 10% for the foot a 10% for the back is 19% total, not 20%.  And that is a difference of 6 weeks of impairment benefits, which could be a few thousand dollars.  Most physicians will just give you the rating for their specialty and not combine them for you.

The guide also requires a physician to assess the rating to the body part and then convert it to the body as a whole, which is not always done correctly.  For example, a 10% to the foot, converts to 7% of the lower extremity which converts to 3% of the whole person, and that is the actual rating to use for Impairment benefits.  I have seen physicians not carry the conversion all the way through to the whole body.

Also, be aware when the claimant is out-of-state, the doctors are likely using a different guide such as the AMA, and the results can be very different.  I always recommend sending the out-of-state doctors a photocopy of the relevant chapter or pages from the 1996 FL Guide.

If your rating ever seems a bit off, I always recommend checking the guide to see if it is correct.  I have attached a picture of the combined ratings chart.  if anyone wants a complete copy of the 1996 Florida Uniform Permanent Impairment Rating Schedule and/or one of our new EG pink hats and pens in support of Breast Cancer Awareness month in October, just let me know the address.

*BTW no one calls it FUPIRS but we really should.

Morgan  Indek | Managing Partner