You’ve already gone through the stress of being involved in an accident at work. Now, gone through a second shock when you learned that the injuries you sustained will forever change the way you are able to physically interact with the world. Not only will these limitations impact your ability to earn a living, but they mean that activities that were previously enjoyed will no longer be an option.
These feelings and more are common among work accident survivors who have sustained an amputation. As if it isn’t difficult enough adjusting to a new way of life, these workers frequently also are suddenly faced with financial difficulties due to never ending medical bills and often lost wages.
In New York, a Schedule Loss Of Use award has been created to provide for workers who have lost the use of a body part. Unlike other parts of workers’ compensation, this award can be obtained even if there has been no time spent away from work.
What Is The Schedule Loss Of Use Award?
The Schedule Loss Of Use award (SLU) is a payment that can be given to workers who sustained an injury which left them unable to use a body part. This doesn’t always necessarily mean the body part was amputated.
Why Are Types Of Losses Covered Under The SLU?
In the past, workers who obtained SLU payments had permanent damage to their:
- Ears (Hearing)
The award is also sometimes given if the worker sustains extensive scarring to their face, neck, or scalp.
How Much Can I Get Through The SLU?
The amount received in each case depending on the body part or parts that were impacted by the injury and is calculated based on the average weekly wage of the worker. However, for each body part, a maximum number of weeks of compensation is applied. Below is a chart which details how long a worker may collect payment based off of the body part injured.
|Body Part||Weeks Of Compensation|
What Does Maximum Medical Improvement Mean?
Before an applicant can obtain SLU payments, a doctor must determine that they have reached their maximum medical improvement, meaning that their body will not continue to heal or regain function in the injured part.
Once a doctor has determined that the patient has reached their MMI, they will assign a percentage to the loss, meaning how much less the patient can use that body part. For example, if the patient had their hand amputated, they would have 100% loss because they can no longer use that body part at all. The doctor will submit their determination to the Workers’ Compensation Board. D
Do I Get Payment After My Doctor Submits Their Report?
Not immediately. In order to move forward, the Workers’ Compensation Board needs more than one medical opinion. If they don’t receive two independent medical assessments, they will then contact the insurance company who will have one of their doctors perform an additional exam.
If the doctors do not reach the same conclusion, the Workers’ Compensation Board will review the case, may request additional documents, and then will likely schedule a hearing. Then a judge will make a final decision.
While this may all seem fairly straightforward, the fact is that it can be difficult to obtain all of the necessary documents requested by the Board, the paperwork can be overwhelming, and this is all in addition to the fact that the worker is already dealing with physical, emotional, and often financial stress. But help is available.
Our New York Law Firm Can Help You
Markhoff & Mittman, also known as The Disability Guys, has been helping injured workers in New York since 1933. Our team is dedicated to helping those who have been seriously injured while on the job get the compensation they both need and deserve.
Our experienced attorneys help clients through every step of the Workers’ Compensation, Schedule Loss of Use award, and Social Security Disability processes. We know how confusing and stressful this time is and are always surprised by how many injured workers receive a denial. There’s no need to wait for a denial – in fact, studies have shown that workers who contact an attorney as soon as possible after their accident are more likely to obtain payments