These PPD rules are complex. They were written by politicians and insurance people and intended to be understood by doctors, lawyers, and judges.
The PPD rules are part of the law governing L&I claims. You can find them in the Revised Code of Washington (RCW ) Title 51, and the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) Title 296, in our Things You Need to Know section. Click on the PPD Rules only if you are ready to learn more than you need to know.
The PPD rules are divided into two sections; by body system, called the category rating system, found in RCW 51.32; or by body part, called specified disabilities, found at RCW 51.32.080.
The category rating section for body systems includes: neurological system, mental health, respiratory, taste and smell, speech, skin, and internal organs.
The specified disabilities section includes: legs, feet, arms, heads, eyes, and hearing.
The heart and soul of the rules are in the Washington Annotative Code (WAC). Each specific body system or specified disability in the WAC is roughly divided into two, with rules for evaluation of that category followed by the specified body system and the corresponding objective clinical findings. There are also general rules for impairment rating RCW 51.32.080 and WAC 296-20-2010, special rules for evaluation WAC 296-20-220, AMA guides, and yearly PPD schedule update found on the L&I website. These yearly schedules convert percentages or categories into dollars, and allow for modest yearly increases to reflect the percentage change in the consumer price index.
The WAC’s provide complex medical/legal determinations meant to attach a percentage to an impairment of loss of function. That percentage is taken to the PPD schedule for the year of your injury, to determine the dollars you should receive after your claim closes. The money is often paid out over the course of several months.
If these rules are too complex, not to worry. You don’t have to know how to apply the rules to get paid. We can tell you what L&I plans to pay you, if you can tell us: