Unlike benefits for scarring which are extremely subjective; calculating loss of use benefits is simple and rarely disputed. In order to obtain loss of use (LOU) benefits in Rhode Island, the employee must have reached a point of maximum medical improvement (MMI). In other words, the employee's condition is not going to get any better and there are no other medical procedures available that can improve the employee's injury.
LOU benefits are only awarded when it affects an extremity of the body, meaning legs or arms. No benefits are awarded for a LOU to the low back or neck.
An example would be a LOU rating of 5% of the left upper extremity following rotator cuff surgery.
If the injury was sustained prior to January 1, 2012, the LOU formula is 312 times $90 times the LOU or .05. This would result in payment of $1,404.00. For injuries sustained after January 1, 2012, the formula is 312 x $180.00 x the LOU. For the same 5% impairment rating, the award would be $2,808.00.
Simple as that.