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*This section is provided as a quick reference tool only.
(see disclaimer at the bottom)

Glossary Of Workers' Compensation Terms

Medical care providers should be familiar with the terminology that is generally used in workers' compensation. Following are some of the terms used in the medical care field by providers when reporting the treatment of injured workers.

AGGRAVATION--Usually implies a fresh incident producing additional impairment to a previously injured anatomical region. Aggravations are usually not temporary.

AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION GUIDES--The most widely used methods of rating functional impairment. They are a system of rating anatomical impairments for injured workers.

APPORTIONMENT--refers to the permanent disability benefits from part of the disability resulting from one injury and part from another, which may or may not have been work related. Causation is not apportioned and the cost of medical and temporary disability usually is not apportioned.

CHRONIC PAIN SYNDROME--A subconscious psychological stress state prolonging pain through operate conditioning and pain behavior.

CUMULATIVE TRAUMA--The concept that repeated minor stresses either of a small or inconsequential nature over a period of time result in an injury or disability.

DISABILITY--Sometimes confused with impairment. Disability represents how an impairment combined with the person's age, educational background, vocational background and other factors affect an injured workers' ability to return to work. Impairment is one part of assigning an overall disability.

EMPLOYABILITY--A term which defines or is used to express whether or not a person is employable in certain fields or in the general labor market.

EXACERBATION--A temporary flareup of something related to a pre-existing condition, usually after an injury but recedes to its former level within a reasonable period of time.

FUNCTIONAL CAPACITY EVALUATION--Testing of a person's specific physical activities, of lifting, bending, pushing, pulling, etc., and the relationship to the ability to perform the demands of various jobs.

GATEKEEPER--A physician whose approval is required for a patient to seek special medical care or treatment.

HANDICAPPED--Sometimes confused with disability and impairment and is used interchangeably with these terms. Handicapped is generally defined as an impairment that can be overcome by some type of reasonable accommodation to the impairment.

IMPAIRMENT--A medical term which is sometimes confused with disability. Impairment is what is anatomically or physically wrong with an individual and is a means where the medical care provider assigns a numerical rating for whatever type of bodily function has been lost.

PERMANENT PARTIAL DISABILITY (PPD)--Generally means that the injured worker cannot return to the same type of work that he was doing before his injury and that he has a permanent impairment which limits his ability to do the work that he was doing before the accident.

PERMANENT TOTAL DISABILITY (PTD)--Generally means that a person is unable to do any type of work of any kind and that person is completely and permanently incapable of engaging in any type of substantial gainful activities.

TEMPORARY PARTIAL DISABILITY (TPD)--Generally means that the injured workers is only able to do some type of limited work for a short period of time and that further recovery is expected.

TEMPORARY TOTAL DISABILITY (TTD)--Generally means that a person is unable to do any type of work for a temporary period of time. Workers' compensation payments are usually paid while the injured worker is out of work.

*This section is provided as a reference tool only. Benefit rates as well as State agency contacts, phone numbers and addresses may change periodically and are not guaranteed. Please send notification of any changes to support@workerscompensation.com