Compensation for disabled may rise

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Compensation for disabled may rise

For the first time in 47 years, the Supreme Court said it will likely revise the criteria used to establish disability compensation for people who sustain physical disabilities in industrial or traffic accidents.

The nation’s highest court is reviewing possible changes in the criteria in consultation with the Korea Academy of Medical Sciences.

The changes would be implemented in a trial run starting in the second half of next year after first undergoing a six-month test period, court officials said yesterday.

The current criteria used to set disability compensation by judges across the country was modeled after American orthopedic surgeon Earl D. McBride’s book “Disability Evaluation and Principles of Treatment of Compensable Injuries,” which was published in 1936 to measure compensable injuries in 279 jobs.

Critics, including medical experts, have argued for a need to overhaul the current criteria for calculating disability lawsuit damages to reflect advancements in medical science and changes in the working environment since McBride’s book ended issuing revised editions in 1963.

Under the proposed new criteria, the Supreme Court classifies about 1,200 jobs into 39 categories, and it provides details on the loss rate of the injured’s physical capacity to work based on the severity of the injury sustained.

People who have lost both legs in an accident, for instance, will be considered to have lost 67 to 81 percent of their working capacity, up from the current 58 to 83 percent range. The loss rate for those who have lost both arms will be raised from the current 75 to 88 percent range to 89 to 95 percent.

While the current system doesn’t set a loss rate range for people who become blind in an accident, the new criteria would set the rate at 92 to 96 percent.

By Kim Mi-ju []
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