9-27-2011; If claimant has surgery, and not represented by an attorney, are we supposed to get a permanency rating from the doctor and pay it under pro se settlement contract or what??? Are we ...

As you read this, impairment ratings are now a mandatory part of the IL WC system. They have to be considered by the Arbitrators, as a part of the process. Trust us, the claimant attorneys and ITLA don’t want them and will tell gullible adjusters to ignore them.

In a prelitigation setting, if you get an impairment rating demonstrating some loss on the part of the claimant from a licensed Illinois physician

•           You can pay it and will receive credit for whatever you pay if claimant later files an Application but the payment won’t close medical rights or the ability of claimant to come back for more money in the future under Section 19(h).

•           Or you can do a pro se settlement for the amount of the impairment rating with us seeking approval before an Arbitrator at a flat rate—if approved, it will close medical rights and the ability of claimant to return.  We cannot predict how Arbitrators are going to view settlements in the amount of impairment ratings but they have to consider them.

Keefe, Campbell & Associates provides pro se settlement approvals at a flat rate of $250 in Cook County and $350 elsewhere in IL. In eight-plus years of existence, we have never raised the pro se rates.

You can also use a “zero impairment rating” to advise a claimant you are not going to offer any permanency. Again, that doesn’t mean an Arbitrator cannot award anything, using other factors mentioned in the IL WC Act.

If you have further questions or concerns about the 2011 Amendments to the IL WC Act, send a reply.