Were you injured on the job or during the course of performing your work-related
duties? Or, are you suffering from an
occupational disease? If your answer is “yes” to either question and your medical
condition is preventing you from working, you should consider filing a
workers’ compensation claim.
The workers’ compensation system is a “no fault” system,
meaning injured workers can receive benefits regardless if they were partially
or entirely to blame for their injuries. However, workers
cannot collect workers’ comp benefits when they sustained their injuries while under the influence of drugs
or alcohol, or while they were intentionally trying to hurt themselves
or someone else.
List of Disability Classifications
If you decide to file for workers’ compensation and you are found
eligible, your healthcare provider will examine your medical conditions
and determine the severity of your disability. According to the New York
State Workers’ Compensation Board, an injured worker’s cash
benefits are directly related to the disability classification assigned
by their medical provider.
Disability classifications include:
Temporary Total Disability: The worker has totally lost their wage-earning capacity, but only temporarily.
The worker’s condition is expected to improve.
Temporary Partial Disability: The worker has partially lost their ability to earn money, and only on
a temporary basis.
Permanent Total Disability: This is the worst possible situation. In this case, the worker has permanently
lost their ability to earn money. Such cases do not impose a limit on
the number of weeks that are payable.
Permanent Partial Disability: A part of the employee’s ability to earn money has been lost permanently.
The seriousness of the employee’s disability is evaluated when he
or she has reached what’s called “maximum medical improvement,”
or MMI, which occurs within two years of the date of the injury. Partial
disability benefits depend on the affected body part and the nature of
the person’s disability.
The maximum number of weeks (of benefits) a worker is entitled to has to
do with where the worker lands on the above list of classifications. For
example, if the wage-earning capacity is 15% or less, the worker is entitled
to 225 weeks of benefits. On the other hand, if the worker’s loss
of earning capacity is more than 95%, he or she is entitled to collect
benefits for 525 weeks.
“NY Workers’ Compensation Disability Classifications.”
To learn more about filing a workers’ comp claim on Long Island,
contact our firm to schedule a
free case evaluation.