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When Is a Worker in New York Entitled to Permanent Disability?

If you have been injured on the job, hopefully you make a full recovery and are not left with any serious long term injuries. Few workplace accidents will result in any catastrophic impairments, but they do happen. A serious accident that leaves you with serious injuries could keep you from working ever again, at least in that particular occupation. If this happens, you may be entitled to permanent disability benefits from your employer or its insurance company.

Disability Classifications

Before any cash benefits can be paid to an injured worker, it must first be determined the extent of the disability. In New York, there are two types of permanent disability classifications:

Permanent Total Disability

When permanent total disability occurs, the worker’s income earning capability is wholly and permanently lost in a particular line of work. The employee can receive disability benefits even if he or she continues to work in a different occupation, so long as his or her wages do not, in combination with the disability benefits, surpass the maximums stipulated by New York state law. Additionally, there is no limitation on the number of weeks the disability benefits are payable.

Permanent Partial Disability

When permanent partial disability occurs, the worker’s income earning capacity is only partially lost. This type of disability will be classified as either a schedule loss of use or a non-schedule loss of use. A schedule loss of use will be declared when an employee has permanently lost use of an upper extremity, a lower extremity, eyesight, or hearing. The length of time an employee receives payments will be determined by the body part injured and the severity of the disability in accordance with a schedule set forth by state law. Non-schedule encompasses permanent disabilities that involve parts of the body that are not covered by an SLU award, such as the head, brain, lungs, pelvis, and heart.

The extent of your disability will be determined by a qualified physician when you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI). The physician will review your condition and assign you an impairment index, which will be used in determining the severity of your disability.

Rights to Temporary Disability Payments Right After Work Injury

Following a workplace injury, you may be temporarily unable to work while you make a recovery. This can be worrisome, as you may be thinking about how you are going to pay your bills. Fortunately, workers’ compensation laws provide for temporary disability benefits in the state of New York. If you spend time away from work while you recover from a workplace accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your lost wages in addition to your medical expenses.

If you have filed a workers’ compensation claim, you may wish to consult with a New York workers’ compensation lawyer to make sure that you receive the benefits you deserve in a timely fashion. The following will discuss the types of temporary disability benefits and how they are calculated.

What Are the Types of Temporary Disability Benefits?

There are two types of temporary disability benefits: temporary total disability and temporary partial disability. If you are unable to return to work following an injury, you may qualify for temporary total disability. If you are able to return to work but cannot perform all of your normal occupational duties, you may qualify for temporary partial disability.

If you qualify, you may receive up to two thirds of the wages you would have otherwise received, but only if you are away from work longer than seven days.

How Much Can I Receive For Temporary Disability?

For total and partial temporary disability, the following formula is used to calculate benefits:

 (⅔) x (average weekly wage) x (%disability) = weekly benefit

The state of New York has a maximum disability benefit rate that is adjusted every year on July 1. The most recent adjustment, made on July 1, 2018, places the maximum rate at $904.74. These numbers are based on the New York State Average Weekly Wage for the previous year as reported by the Commissioner of Labor to the Superintendent of Insurance on March 31.

Off-the-Job Injuries or Illness

In the state of New York, workers are entitled to disability benefits even for off-the-job accidents. When an eligible wage earner is injured off the job, he or she may qualify to receive disability benefits while he or she recovers. These are cash payments only beginning on the eighth consecutive day of disability. These benefits will be paid according to a plan approved by the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board.

Contact Us For More Information About Temporary & Permanent Disability

Proving disability is never an easy task. Remember that your employer’s insurance agency may try everything it can in order to prove that you are capable of finding some kind of employment. The insurance company will try to show that you still have job prospects, even if they are not easily accessible to you. This can present many challenges to you as you complete your claim and try to receive the benefits to which you are entitled.

If you were involved in a workplace accident that has left you with a permanent disability, you are entitled to certain benefits. If you are facing a struggle with an insurance agency or an employer regarding your disability, contact an experienced New York workers’ compensation lawyer to guide you through the process and ensure you get the benefits you deserve. The lawyers at the Law Office of Michael Lawrence Varon, PLLC, will help you with every step of the process.

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