In the release of the 2017 New York State Budget, The Workers’ Compensation Board made a number of reforms to Workers Compensation law. One of the reforms, only briefly discussed until recently, was Labor Market Attachment and Claimant Record of Job Search revisions. The requirement for permanently partially disabled workers to demonstrate attachment to the labor market after classification in order to continue receiving weekly compensation payments.
The reformed Workers’ Compensation laws now provide that if the permanent partial disability claimant is entitled to benefits at the time of classification they are no longer required to demonstrate ongoing labor market attachment. As of July 13, 2017, the WCB has published new forms for partially disabled claimants (C-258 and C-258.1) to document that they are looking for work within their restrictions and the supporting documents they have to provide. The reporting requirements have changed with the new forms.
The requirements are technical and we at Erwin, McCane, and Daly strongly suggest seeking legal advice to ensure continued receipt of payments.
What is Labor Market Attachment?
Prior to April 11, 2017 workers’ compensation claimants were obligated to seek out work within their physical ability in order to demonstrate labor market attachment.
- “A claimant is considered to be attached to the labor market if he or she is found to be making reasonable efforts to obtain gainful employment that is consistent with his or her medical restrictions.”
- “A partially disabled claimant need only see employment within his or her medical restrictions”
- “Whether a claimant actually maintains sufficient attachment to the labor market to justify continued compensation benefits is a factual determination for the Board.
In order to provide evidence of labor market attachment, claimants will need to accurately and completely fill out the necessary forms. Form C-258 to record independent job search efforts and/or for job search efforts with assistance from outside job-placement services. Form C-258.1 without completing form C-258 can also be used to record independently conducted job searches.
Who do the Claimant Record of Job Search Efforts revisions apply to?
The revisions to the Workers’ Compensation Law pertaining to labor market attachment apply to those claiming benefits for permanent partial disability. Workers claiming temporary disability must still demonstrate labor market attachment. Evidence that showing that the claimant is actively seeking work within their physical restrictions can be done through one of the following ways.
- A timely, diligent and persistent independent job search.
- Active participation in a job-location service such as: the NYS Department of Labor’s re-employment services, One-stop career centers, Workforce One, etc.
- Active participation in Board-Approved rehabilitation programs such as the Adult Career and Continuing Education Services – Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR)
- Active participation in job-retraining programs
- Full time attendance at an accredited educational institution; pursuant of employment within work restrictions