When I tell my clients that they have a "scheduled" injury, they often look at me with a puzzled look, like they're thinking "I didn't plan my injury, much less schedule it." This term actually refers to the categorization of different types of permanent injuries in the "Schedule of Impairments" found at A.R.S., 23-1044. The body parts listed in the schedule are, generally speaking, the arms, legs, hands, eyes, and fingers. Permanent injuries that are limited to these specific body parts are paid on a formula determined by taking the amount of months specified in the schedule and multiplying it by the percentage of impairment designated by the physician. For example, the loss of the major (dominant) arm would result in the insurance carrier having to pay the injured worker the equivalent of 60 months of compensation as payment for the loss of use of that arm. If the doctor designated a 20% loss of use of the arm, then the carrier would have to pay the equivalent of 12 months of comp (20% of the 60 months indicated in the schedule). The monthly amount is then paid at either 50% of the injured workers' average monthly wage at the time of injury if he or she is able to return to performing all aspects of their job or 75% if they are not.
Any injuries to body parts NOT specifically contained in the schedule (including shoulders, back, neck, head injuries, hips, and others), are called "unscheduled" and are compensated completely differently. Also, any combination of two "scheduled" injuries is considered "unscheduled".
If it sounds confusing, it is. You should probably consult with an attorney at Snow, Carpio, and Weekley who exclusively practices workers compensation in Arizona.
Snow, Carpio, and Weekley are attorneys who have represented thousands of injured workers before the Industrial Commission of Arizona. They offer free consultations and can be reached at (602) 532-0700 in Phoenix or (520) 647-9000 in Tucson .