2018 Update to Scheduled Loss of Use and Permanent Impairment Guidelines

Cast on Broken Leg

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 Permanency Impairment Guidelines for Scheduled Loss of Use (SLU) evaluations. These changes were given an effective date of January 1, 2018.

Permanent Impairment Guidelines for Scheduled Loss of Use 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 Scheduled Loss of Use Guidelines has 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 regards 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.

For more information regarding workers’ compensation including the updates made to the 2018 Permanent Impairment Guidelines for Schedule Loss of Use Evaluations contact the attorneys of Erwin, McCane & Daly.