Schedule Award for Back Injury: Cervical, Thoracic and Lumbar

Remember that backs are not amenable to a schedule award unless there is nerve injury effecting a leg or arm.  The rating for the injury must be done using the methodology described in the July/August 2009 Guides newsletter. The July/August Guides newsletter is quite detailed.  The essential criteria is a positive EMG finding.  Note that I did not say an EKG or MRI.  The Newsletter says EMG. 

Even if there is a positive EMG, the award would probably not be adequate.  If there was neck or low back surgery, the claimant stands a chance of financial recovery.  If there is a foot drop, there is a better chance of financial recovery.  If there is only a back strain, you should probably forget about an award.  You will almost certainly be sent for a second or even third opinion.

Arguably unfair, but that is the current system.

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