Under the new budget passed by the New York State Legislature, the Workers’ Compensation Permanency Guidelines for schedule loss of use awards will be getting an overhaul by the end of 2017. This means that for injured workers with injuries to their fingers, hands/wrists, elbows, shoulders, hips, knees, ankles/feet, and toes, the schedule loss of use award as we know it could be eliminated or largely reduced.
The insurance companies and their lobbyists have pushed the idea that because of “advances in medical science” people recover better after treatment and surgery, and therefore percentages for schedule losses of use should be lowered. The lump sum award that many people see approximately a year after their injury or surgery is dependent upon the percentage loss of use. Lower percentage = lower monetary award.
Often times, when an injured worker is out of work recovering from their injury or surgery, they incur debt because the Workers’ Compensation benefits do not equal their normal wages. It is hard to get back on your feet, even if you get back to your normal job and pay. The schedule loss of use award is necessary for so many people to regain some normalcy in their lives after suffering a workplace injury.
Your voices have to be heard on this issue. If you are an injured worker that anticipates a schedule loss of use award, or if you have received one in the past, tell the New York Workers’ Comp Alliance that your benefits cannot be reduced or eliminated! Take the simple 8 question survey at this link as soon as possible!