Has an injury at work resulted in lost time on the job? Workers receiving benefits for workers’ compensation or disability are doing so as a result of an injury sustained on the job. When employees are injured at work, they are entitled to certain benefits to compensate for lost wages and medical expenses.

What happens when a person is receiving benefits and then suffers from an unrelated health condition which prevents them from returning to work?

According to a recent publication on workerscompensation.com,

“‘A new decision, Matter of “Bobbitt v Charbonneau Construction,’ 2011 NY Slip Op 04790, Decided on June 9, 2011, Appellate Division, Third Department states other medical conditions do not alleviate a worker’s responsibility to continue to seek employment within the worker’s capacities, even though the capacities are diminished. This opinion is uncorrected and subject to revision before publication in the Official Report. (WcxKit)”.

As stated in the original article, “the New York Workers Compensation Board (NY WCB) has begun to enforce rigorously ‘voluntary withdrawal from labor’ as a reason for discontinuing wage loss benefits, even when the worker is found to be permanently partially disabled.”

As the climate within the workers’ compensation system continues to cool toward workers who are in need of compensation, the need to seek professional assistance in managing a claim becomes more apparent. Without proper representation, it may become more and more difficult for injured workers to receive the compensation to which they are entitled. Workers’ compensation reforms, changes in the law and the way individual claims are being handled make it difficult for injured workers to get the benefits promised by law.