What is apportionment

Apportionment refers to a division of responsibility. Apportionment can be applied to the impairment rating based on causative factors. For example, if a worker applies for disability benefits because of a toxic gas inhalation, some states take into consideration the fact that this person was a two-pack a day smoker for the past 20 years. The final amount of the loss of lung function is thus apportioned into the various contributing/causative factors.

Apportionment can also refer to the division of payment responsibility. A man had a back injury while at work but also had a similar back injury at work two years ago with ongoing symptoms and treatment. The current treatment costs can be apportioned to both the old and the new injury, as can the impairment rating. Most jurisdictions have their own rules as to whether apportionment is used and in which circumstances. A great deal of skill and expertise are needed for an examiner to apportion an individual's current condition to all the causative factors, including the normal aging process.

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