What are the Official Disability Guidelines (ODGs)?

Arizona Injury Law Group


When you are injured on the job and you file your claim, your claim submission falls under a certain process of how your claim will be processed. Your claim is submitted to the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) and is processed to a category of injury for further review.

Classification of Injury by AMA Guide, 6th Ed.

The classification of injury is based on the American Medical Association (AMA) Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, 6th edition, which gives overviews of parts of the body and how the level of injury determines the payment be made to the worker. Go here to a link for a syllabus training outline of what is in the AMA Guide, 6th ed., by Dr. C.R. Brigham, to find useful information for any non-medical working person who wants to know more about this guide.

Official Disability Guide (ODG)

After evaluating the claim and how much will be paid for work-related partial to permanent injuries, the ODG is used by doctors for following a prescribed guideline in treating injured workers. Injured workers must see the doctor that the insurance company sends by appointment to evaluate the injury first, and then to approve or decline the claim.

After that, the injured worker may choose his or her doctor to receive treatment. As noted in a previous article about opioid addiction, pain-killing prescriptions are now strictly regulated, although each medical case has its own unique circumstances. The ODG presents the doctor with the treatment outline which he or she can adjust to meet the patient’s needs. You can go here to find out more about the Arizona ODGs, including subscribing to the ODG if you are a professional, such as health care provider, Arizona attorney, insurance carrier, and others.

Background of the ODG

On October 1, 2016, the ICA adopted and implemented the Work Loss Data Institute’s Official Disability Guidelines (ODG), which is comprised of evidence-based medical research that is always updated to the most recent research statistics available on injured workers and available treatments.

The Editorial Advisory Board that oversees the ODG, is comprised of 100 healthcare professionals from all the medical specialties, such as orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists, and many more. MCG Health, who oversees the Work Lost Data Institute and all research data integration, helps both private sector and government health groups with implementing the best and most recent evidence-based medical strategies for all patients.

The ODG uses this information for all areas of medical specialties as related to Arizona injured workers and providing the best treatment possible. The Appraisal of Guidelines Research and Evaluation (AGREE) is the foundation of the ODG’s treatment recommendations for all of Arizona’s work-related injured workers.

All these evidence-based recommendations for the treatment of work-related injuries are linked to relevant research studies that have been completed on that same topic. Be sure to check out the ODG links close to the bottom of this page, as well as a training tool and webinars. You can find the latest ODG Drug Formulary (December 2018) here.

Call us if you need a consultation about your claim. We can help you. 602-346-9009

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