The New York State Workers Compensation Board announced in November 2011 that it would be revising its determination guidelines for wage loss and incapacities from work-related injuries after 15 years. As of January 1, 2012, the new guidelines will assist medical professionals, insurance carriers, and attorneys in evaluating medical impairment and physical functionality in on the job injuries in the 2012 New York State Guidelines for determining Permanent Impairment and Loss of Wage Earning Capacity guide.
These updated laws will tackle scheduled awards which related to the permanent impairment of extremities, vision and hearing loss, and facial disfigurement. It also addresses non-scheduled awards including permanent impairments which are not covered by a particular schedule often related to the heart, lungs, skin, major joints, brain, and spine.
A major update in the 2012 guidelines involves the baseline definition of maximum medical improvement before making a determination on both schedule and non-schedule disabilities. There is also now a three-prong analysis to be used for determining wage earning capacity including the evaluation and ranking of medical impairments, evaluation of ability and loss of functionality, and the determination of lost wage earning capacity based on function and vocation factors such as skills, literacy, and education.
The goal of the updated guidelines is to give the right resources for those involved in workers compensation claims to handle successfully.