Home > AMA Guides, Permanent Disability Rating, Psyche > Using 1997 Psyche Factors for post 05 P&S? That’s Crazy!

Using 1997 Psyche Factors for post 05 P&S? That’s Crazy!

The California Court of Appeal denied applicant’s petition for a writ of review in the recent case of Kandi Sanders  v. Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (California State University).  The main issue in question is whether Almaraz/Guzman requires an evaluating physician to stay within the “four corners” of the AMA Guides for a psyche injury.

In a report, dated June 27, 2011, the agreed medical evaluator wrote “[u]ntil such time as (psychiatric impairment) is clarified legally, it is my intention to continue to describe an impairment by the GAF, by the overall impairment in Chapter 14 of the AMA Guides, as well as the 1997 PDRS ratings.”  The permanent and stationary date was in 2011.

The matter proceeded to trial at which time the workers’ compensation Judge awarded applicant 9% permanent disability.  Applicant contested this award, arguing that the PD rating corresponding to her GAF was incorrect, and that the work functions factors of the 1997 schedule are a better indication of her permanent disability.

So what did the WCAB find?  Is the 1997 schedule within the four corners of the AMA Guides if tucked into the flap of the back cover?  Not so much.

The WCJ, in his report, reasoned that applicant has stipulated to the 9% rating and was so bound by her stipulation.  Secondly, the A/G decision limited the rule-bending and impairment-finagling to the four corners, which does not include the work function factors in the 1997 schedule.  The WCAB adopted and incorporated the WCJ’s report and recommendation, denying applicant’s petition for reconsideration, and the Court of Appeal followed suit, rejecting applicant’s contention that the 2005 schedule for converting psyche injuries to permanent disability ratings is inadequate.

Perhaps equating a psyche injury to a shoulder impairment would yield better results?


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