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Workers’ Compensation: Schedule Loss of Use
Awards designed to compensate an injured worker with residual permanent physical and functional impairments are categorized as schedule and non-schedule. Schedule loss of use awards are for certain impairment of the extremities, as well as vision and hearing loss and facial disfigurement.
When you have an injury to a hand, arm, foot, or leg due to an injury at work, you may be eligible for a special type of Workers’ Compensation known as schedule loss of use. This compensation acknowledges that your injury is permanent. Workers’ Compensation schedule loss of use can get complicated, so it is in your best interest to work with a Long Island Workers’ Compensation lawyer from the beginning of your case.
What Is A Schedule Loss of Use Award?
A Schedule Loss of Use award (SLU) is a cash award that pays for an injury which has left you with less function than before you were injured. A worker may be eligible for a Schedule Loss of Use payment if they are left with a permanent defect or loss of function, and they have reached maximum medical improvement, meaning no further treatment is needed or expected to improve the condition.
Determining Schedule Loss Of Use
To receive a Schedule Loss of Use award, your doctor’s opinion is needed. If you have a permanent physical deficit once your injury has reached maximum medical improvement, meaning no additional healing is expected, your doctor will assess a percentage of schedule loss of use. Maximum medical improvement is usually reached one year from the injury or last surgery, but can vary.
Your doctor will perform a physical examination and any appropriate diagnostic testing to determine how much permanent damage or functional loss you have and will then assign a percentage of schedule loss of use. The insurance carrier will also have a chance to have you examined by an IME who will also provide an opinion.
The opinions from your doctor and the insurance company’s doctor will be considered by the Judge to determine your schedule loss of use percentage and award. Usually, because there is a difference of opinions, either negotiation or litigation is required for settlement.
For over 30 years, the attorneys at Terry Katz & Associates have fought for New Yorkers through this process and achieved excellent results. To see how our experienced injury attorneys can help you, call our office directly at 888-488-7459. Our Initial consultations are always free.
NYS Workers Comp Settlement Chart – How Much Is My Schedule Use Award?
NYS Workers’ Compensation Law states how many weeks of benefits an injured worker will receive for a Schedule Loss of Use award based on the percentage for the body part injured.
Below are the maximum weeks of possible compensation, based on the body part:
- Loss of use for Arm, 312 weeks
- Loss of use for Leg, 288 weeks
- Loss of use for Hand, 244 weeks
- Loss of use for Foot, 205 weeks
- Loss of use for the Index finger, 46 weeks
- Loss of use for Big toe, 38 weeks
- Loss of use for Eye, 160 weeks
- Loss of use for Middle finger, 30 weeks
- Loss of use for Other toes, 16 weeks
- Loss of use for Pinky finger, 15 weeks
- Loss of use for the Ring finger, 25 weeks
- Loss of use for Thumb, 75 weeks
Permanent injury to a body part may include fractures, amputations, surgeries, tears, dislocations, second and third-degree burns, crush injuries and severe nerve damage, facial disfigurement (scars of the face, neck, and scalp), hearing loss, and vision loss.
Based on the body part injured and the percentage loss of use, you may be able to estimate the amount of eligible benefits based on the following equation:
(Average Weekly Wage ÷ 2/3) x (Max. No. of Weeks Allowed x % Loss of Use)
For example, say you were making an average of $600 per week when you injured your arm on the job.
- Based on your average weekly wage, your maximum benefit (⅔ of your average weekly wage) would be $400 per week.
- The Schedule Loss of Use table above shows that 100% loss of use of an arm is worth 312 weeks of compensation. After reaching maximum medical improvement, a doctor determined you have a 25% schedule loss of use of your arm.
- Based on your loss of use (25%) and the maximum weeks of compensation for an arm injury (312), you may be eligible for 78 weeks of benefits.
- Knowing the weekly compensation ($400) and length of benefits (78 weeks), your estimated Schedule Loss of Use Award would be $31,200.
- A Schedule Loss of Use Award is reduced by the amount of any prior payments you received while out of work, if any.
New York Workers’ Compensation Non-Schedule Awards
Non-schedule awards are for all other permanent impairments, including conditions affecting the extremities not covered by a schedule. For example, non-schedule awards may cover chronic painful conditions affecting the extremities; head, neck, and back conditions; painful joint conditions; and tumors.
New York Workers’ Compensation Schedule Loss Of Use – Free Consultation
Seeking workers’ compensation benefits can be a complicated legal process. As you might expect, there can be disagreement between your doctor’s opinion of schedule loss of use and the insurance company’s IME doctor’s opinion. That is why an injured worker needs the advocacy of an experienced Long Island workers’ compensation lawyer like Terry Katz and Associates to negotiate the most favorable settlement or litigate the case for a decision if no agreement can be reached.
If you have injured your hands, feet, arms, or legs while working, you need to contact the skilled New York workers’ compensation attorneys at Terry Katz and Associates. To schedule a free lawyer consultation call 888-488-7459 or complete the form below today.
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