What is a Schedule Loss of Use Award in New York?

Posted By Katz, Leidman, Freund & Herman || 24-Sep-2019

Workplace accidents and injuries vary greatly. Sometimes, they can be relatively minor events and within a few short weeks or about a month, the worker is healed and he or she returns to work. Other times, the accident is so serious that the worker is seriously and permanently injured and they can NEVER expect a full recovery.

As you can imagine, when a worker’s injury is so severe that it results in a permanent functional impairment, they can lose some of their earning power, especially when they need the body part to perform their job. Examples include a writer at a newspaper whose hand is badly broken and nearly destroyed in an act of workplace violence.

Another example is a semi-truck driver whose leg is amputated after a horrific trucking accident. Or, imagine a masseuse at a 5-star hotel who sustains a spinal cord injury in an elevator accident at the hotel, and now she can’t massage people because her arm is permanently paralyzed.

Schedule Loss of Use Award Explained

The Schedule Loss of Use award, also known as the SLU award, is a cash benefit that is paid to injured workers for their loss of earning power that resulted from a permanent functional impairment to one of their body parts because of the workplace accident.

SLU awards are made for arm, hand, finger, thumb, leg, foot, and toe injuries They’re also for injuries that affect the hearing and eyesight, and for injuries that result in disfigurement to the face, neck, or scalp.

Am I eligible for an SLU award?

Not all injured workers are eligible for SLU awards. To be eligible, you would have to meet these requirements:

  • You must have recovered as much as possible from the injury.
  • Your doctor submits a medical report that adheres to the Permanent Impairment Guidelines. In the doctor’s report, he or she states that you reached what is called “maximum medical improvement” or MMI.
  • As a direct result of your workplace injury, you permanently lose function to the injured body part.

“Permanent loss of function may result from damage to bone, muscles, cartilage, tendons, nerves, blood vessels and other tissues. An SLU award compensates you for permanent loss of earning power, as determined by the Workers’ Compensation Board (Board) and consistent with Workers’ Compensation law and guidelines,” according to the New York Workers’ Compensation Board.

Next: Returning to Work After an Injury

To find out if you’re eligible for the SLU award, contact our firm to meet with a Long Island workers’ compensation lawyer.