WHAT IS A SCHEDULE LOSS OF USE AWARD?
A Schedule Loss of Use Worker's Compensation award (known as an SLU) is an additional cash payment for injured workers. It pays you for an injury that leaves you with less ability in a body part than you had before the injury occurred. If you don’t regain the same level of use in the injured body part because you now have a permanent disability, you may be eligible for an SLU payment.
You can receive this money even if you never missed time from work or if you’ve already returned to work.
WHO gets A SCHEDULE LOSS OF USE AWARD?
You may deserve an award if one or more of these body parts doesn’t completely heal to where it was before an injury.
- Face (Scar)/Neck/Scalp
- Eye (Vision Loss)
- Ear (Hearing Loss)
Body parts may also include the wrist, elbow, shoulder, ankle, knee, and hip. Permanent injury to a body part can include: fractures, surgeries, tears, dislocations, amputations, second and third degree burns, severe nerve damage, and crush injuries.
HOW MUCH IS A SCHEDULE LOSS OF USE AWARD?
New York worker's compensation law states how many benefit weeks you'll receive. The award is based on the body part and how much it was damaged. You'll get a certain number of weeks of payment to make up for the permanent injury. For example:
- The law allows 312 weeks for an arm injury.
- You lost 25% weeks of the use of your arm.
- 25% of 312 weeks = 78 weeks.
- You earn $900 weekly. Two-thirds your average weekly wage (your workers' compensation rate) is $600.
- $600 a week for 78 weeks = $46,800 to you.
HOW DO I GET A SCHEDULE LOSS OF USE AWARD?
A doctor’s opinion is needed. Ask your doctor when you’ve reached maximum medical improvement. If your injury is permanent, your doctor will state how much less you can use that body part. It’ll be a percentage: 25%, 50%, etc... The doctor will then file that opinion with the Worker's Compensation Board.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER MY DOCTOR SUBMITS A REPORT?
Make sure your doctor sends a report to the Worker's Compensation Board. The Board reviews all medical reports. If your doctor and the insurer's doctor agree on the amount of loss you suffered, that becomes the number of weeks of payment you will get.
If the Worker's Compensation Board gets only one medical opinion, it will write to you and the insurer, asking for another opinion. You have 60 days to get a report. The insurer has 90 days to get a report. If the New York Worker's Compensation Boad doesn’t get the other medical report from you in 60 days, or from the insurer in 90 days, the Board will decide based on the one medical report in your file. Be sure your doctor sends a report to the Board.
WHAT IF THE DOCTORS DISAGREE ON MY HEALTH?
If your doctor and the insurer's doctor disagree, the Board will decide. You may be asked for more documents, and you may have a hearing. (You'll receive a notice with the date, time and place of the hearing.) There, the judge will try to resolve the dispute or schedule a trial.
In either case the judge will render a decision. The insurer has 10 days to pay the award after the final decision.
HOW ARE AWARDS PAID?
If your award is worth more than the payments you already received for that injury, an SLU award is paid one of two ways.
- You’ll get your regular workers' compensation checks until the SLU award is fully paid, or
- You can write to the Board and ask for the rest of the SLU payment in a lump sum. The Board will direct the insurer to pay you the rest of the money in one check.
Maximum Possible Compensation
(date last updated: 11/1/2018)
|Body Part Lost||Weeks of Compensation|
If you have any further questions, please feel free to reach out to our experienced New York Worker's Compensation attorneys today.