When someone becomes disabled due to a work-related injury or occupational disease, the hope and plan is that someday sooner than later, they’ll heal enough that they can return to work. And as injured workers do go through the healing and recovery process, they must demonstrate a good-faith effort to go back to work. Sometimes, this means they are expected to look for work. This is where the term “labor market attachment” comes in to the equation.
For the purposes of this article, we are referring to partially-disabled claimants. For such a claimant to continue receiving lost-wage benefits, he or she is obligated to show the New York Workers’ Compensation Board “labor market attachment.”
In the Board’s view, the partially-disabled claimant is “attached” to the labor market when he or she is making an honest and reasonable effort to seek employment that works with their medical restrictions. For example, if a woman was a factory worker and she hurt her back lifting too much weight, but she can do a job that involves sitting, at some point she’d be expected to look for desk-type jobs that do not involve bending and extending the back.
CAN THE INSURER ASK ABOUT MY JOB SEARCHES?
Yes, either of them can. Your employer or their insurance company can ask you about your efforts to seek employment that would adapt well to your medical restrictions. In other words, they can ask you if you’ve been attached to the labor market. However, partially disabled claimants are only expected to look for work that suits their medical restrictions. They are not expected to seek work that they are physically incapable of performing.
How do you prove to the Board that you’ve been looking for suitable employment, that your efforts prove you’re attached to the labor market?” According to the New York Workers’ Compensation Board: “For or a claimant to prove to the Board that these efforts are reasonable and adequate, C-258 Claimant’s Record of Job Search Efforts/Contacts should be used.
“If the claimant is showing efforts to attach solely by means of an independent job search, the C-258.1 Claimant’s Record of Independent Job Search Efforts should be used instead of the C-258. Whether a claimant actually maintains sufficient attachment to the labor market to justify continued compensation benefits is a factual determination for the Board.”
Contact our Long Island workers’ compensation firm to file a claim.