The Workers’ Compensation law §15(3)(x) which was enacted as part of the 2017 executive budget called upon the Workers’ Compensation Board to implement new Schedule Loss of Use (SLU) and Permanent Impairment Guidelines for evaluations. These changes were given an effective date of January 1, 2018.
What Are the Schedule Loss of Use and Permanent Impairment Guidelines?
Schedule loss of use is one of two types of permanent disability benefits, with the other being non-schedule. According to the Worker’s Compensation Board, “A SLU occurs when an employee has permanently lost use of an upper extremity (shoulder, arm, hand, wrist, finger), lower extremity (hip, leg, knee, ankle, foot, toe), or eyesight or hearing.”
The Schedule Loss of Use and Permanent Impairment Guidelines are a set of guidelines to determine if a worker is eligible for SLU benefits. You may be eligible for SLU benefits if you have sustained a permanent injury to the above due to an on-the-job incident, if you have had surgery and have recovered to the full extent that will be possible, and if your health care provider submits a medical report that states you meet the Schedule Loss of Use and Permanent Impairment Guidelines.
Schedule Loss of Use and Permanent Impairment Guidelines for Evaluations and Workers’ Comp Cases
It is unfortunate, but accidents do happen in the workplace and can have a severe effect on a person’s work performance as well as their ability to work. Injuries that have been caused by the workplace may mean the individual is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits and/or awards.
In the state of New York, a workplace injury to a specific body part (or body parts) has the potential to result in eligibility for additional benefits if the injury reaches the level of permanency. When a worker suffers a work-related injury, the question of impairment when determining compensation is taken into consideration as well as the extent of which it will affect their physical or mental ability to perform the job.
Navigating the medical and legal systems for workers’ compensation and the benefits injured workers deserve is not a task that should be dealt with alone; it is advisable to consult with professional attorneys to assist with the case.
The 2018 Schedule Loss of Use and Permanent Impairment Guidelines have replaced the previously existing chapters in the 2012 Medical Impairment Guidelines with respect to SLU. The 2012 Guidelines remain unchanged for the determining process of non-schedule permanent impairments.
In regard to SLU claims that had at least one (1) examination prior to January 1, 2018, the Board will consider the issue under the auspices Guidelines that were in effect at that time. If the first medical evaluation of SLU happened on or after January 1, 2018, the SLU will be evaluated under the current 2018 SLU Guidelines.
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For more information regarding workers’ compensation including the updates made to the 2018 Schedule Loss of Use and Permanent Impairment Guidelines for evaluations, contact the attorneys of Erwin, McCane & Daly.
Guidelines last updated in 2018.