Scheduled means a disabling injury, usually of the extremities (arm, leg, etc.), for
which permanent compensation benefits are set by state law for a specific length of
time. Some States use the term of “specific loss”.
NOTE: WC scheduled awards are offsettable based on Social Security Ruling 71-34c. The treatment
of scheduled awards is not limited to any particular State. SSA’s position on scheduled
awards has not changed since the 1971 Ruling. If there is a change in a State’s law
that may affect WC offset, contact the appropriate Regional Office General Counsel
(OGC) for an opinion. See DI 52140.015 - Field Office (FO)/Processing Center (PC) Request for WC/PDB Policy Decision Regarding
Workers’ Compensation/Public Disability Benefit (WC/PDB).
Generally, the most common types of scheduled or specific loss awards are disfigurement
and scarring and disfigurement:
Disfigurement and scarring refers to permanent, significant disfigurement of, or permanent, significant scarring
on the face, head, neck, or any other part of the body which handicaps a worker with
a compensable work-related injury or occupational disease in obtaining or continuing
Disfigurement refers to impairment of or injury to the beauty, symmetry, or appearance of a worker
that renders the worker unsightly, misshapen, imperfect, or deforms in some manner
or otherwise causes a detrimental change in the external form of the worker.
Disfigurement payments are offsettable, unless the Regional OGC issued an opinion
stating the disfigurement payments are not offsettable.
Disfigurement benefits generally represent permanent partial WC and can be paid as
periodic benefits or a lump sum (if paid as a lump sum, see DI 52150.060D.2.).
Some States pay disfigurement benefits in addition to other WC, and some pay disfigurement benefits concurrently with other WC. The award may not specify the start date for these payments. Refer
to State Specific Workers’ Compensation (WC) Procedures in DI 52120.001 and Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA) in DI 52115.010 for possible specific state/federal instructions regarding disfigurement.
Use the following order of priority for determining the offset start date for periodic
disfigurement payments if the start date is not specified in the award and no specific
state/federal instructions apply:
If the award states the disfigurement benefits are paid concurrently with other WC, the start date for offset of the disfigurement benefits is the same
start date used for the other WC benefits paid (i.e., offset is based on the total
of both types of WC).
If disfigurement benefits are paid in addition to other types of WC payments, but the award does not specify whether or not the disfigurement
benefits are paid concurrently, develop for clarification. If not paid concurrently,
offset disfigurement benefits effective the day after the day the periodic payments
end. If periodic payments are not ending, offset the disfigurement benefits effective
the date of the award.
The following States do not have a statute for disfigurement benefits under the State’s
WC law: Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, Washington,
and West Virginia. In New Jersey there is no specific statute for disfigurement benefits;
however, awards for permanent disability are based upon extent of disfigurement.