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If you’ve been permanently disabled by a work injury, you have rights under New York state law.
As recently as 2012, the Workers’ Compensation Reform Task Force and Advisory Committee redid the state’s framework for determining workers’ loss of wage-earning capacity (LWEC). Your LWEC determines which benefits you are entitled to if you are unable to continue your job as a result of your disability. In this situation, your status as disabled and your LWEC are determined by a Workers’ Compensation Law Judge. The judge along with a medical consultant for your workplace and, potentially, an independent consultant, makes that determination using your applicable medical records, as well as any incident or accident report from your job.
Is my disability permanent or temporary?
According to New York state, all disabilities are, at first, temporary, even though they may later prove to be permanent. At that point, there are specialized categories for disability, which hinge on your remaining ability to work.
A permanent total disability means that you are completely unable to work and earn wages. In this case, there is no time limit on the benefits that you receive from your workers’ compensation insurer. A permanent partial disability means that while you may have significant personal injuries, you still have some ability to work.
What counts as a permanent disability in New York?
Under NY workers’ compensation law, there are two types of permanent disability: permanent total disability and permanent partial disability. Your doctor will determine which of these categories applies to your situation.
The time during which you can collect benefits from your workers’ compensation insurer is dependent on which of these categories you fall into. If your injury occurred after March 13, 2007, you may receive benefits for up to 10 years. For certain injuries, including those affecting the arms, hands, fingers, feet, toes, legs, eyesight, and hearing, there are special categories that determine the length of time for which you will receive benefits. These types of disabilities are called “scheduled loss.”
What should I do if I believe I’ve been permanently disabled by a work injury?
All injuries that take place during work and illnesses related to work are covered under workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation applies to virtually all employees in New York state, and you should take advantage of that coverage as soon as you can after an injury. If you do not report your personal injury by filing a workers’ compensation claim, you might not retain the right to be compensated for your lost wages and medical expenses.
Consult a New York injury attorney for help filing a workers’ compensation claim
Time is of the essence in filing this type of claim. In complex cases or instances where the claimant and insurer are in dispute, a personal injury attorney can be critical in getting you the benefits and care you need. Robinson & Yablon, P.C.’s team of personal injury attorneys will be with you every step of the way, from filing your claim to ensuring receipt of your benefits. If you’ve been injured on the job, keep calm and call RY’s New York office at (212) 725-8566.