Workers’ compensation in New York theoretically covers most employees. From the minimum wage hourly workers at a fast-food restaurant to career staff members at a hospital, most workers are covered.
Many workers’ comp claims involve medical coverage and possibly short-term indemnity benefits to cover unpaid wages while a worker recuperates. As soon as an employee is able to return to work, their right to claim indemnity benefits ends. Only when there is a permanent impact on a worker’s earning potential can they seek long-term indemnity benefits.
How do you prove that your condition qualifies for long-term or permanent benefits under New York’s workers’ compensation rules?
A doctor will evaluate you
You will need medical documentation to support your claim of lasting impairment. The physician overseeing your care plays an important role in your benefits claim, especially if you need permanent benefits. The doctor will determine what treatment is necessary and when you can potentially go back to work. The doctor’s input also determines whether or not you are eligible for long-term disability benefits.
If the doctor overseeing your care thinks you will have lasting functional limitations or impairment from your injury and that you are unlikely to improve with additional treatment, the doctor will file the appropriate paperwork.
Even if you can return to work, you may need help
Total, permanent disability is far from the only reason you might need long-term disability benefits. You may be able to go back to work but not to the same job, which might reduce how much you can earn. Permanent partial disability benefits can be invaluable to those who must cope with permanently reduced earning potential because of a job injury.
The worker receiving care must cooperate with the medical care provider’s recommendations. The worker also must truthfully communicate with the doctor about the extent of ongoing symptoms.
Learning more about the benefits available through workers’ compensation in New York can help workers cope with the consequences of a work injury. For answers to your workers’ compensation questions, contact a skilled workers’ comp attorney.