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Q. What if my workers’ compensation doctor assigns a permanent partial impairment (P.I.) rating for my injury?

A. When a doctor releases you from care, a permanent disability rating may be assigned to your injured body part. A rating means that you will never again be 100% healthy in that body part. Whether you can return to work depends on the severity of your injury and how that injury affects your ability to handle the physical demands of your work. If you are able to return to making the same wages as before your work injury, this rating may be your only compensation. However, if you are not able to earn the same pre-injury wages, your rating will not represent your only compensation. Your impairment rating is only one factor the Industrial Commission and NC Law will consider in determining what damages the work injury caused you. NC Law permits you to select the most favorable method or compensating you for the injuries and loss of earning capacity you have sustained.