If you’ve been injured at work and have questions, read about our 4 workers’ compensation tips. Contact our Buffalo lawyers to get started.
1. Losing Your Job and Health Insurance
- Many people think they are protected from loss of their jobs and health insurance because their injuries occurred at work, but that’s not the case.
- People often lose their jobs because of being unable to work because of their workers compensation injury.
- The Family Medical Leave Act maintains an injured employee’s health insurance for 12 weeks. If you are still out and disabled after that, you can lose your health insurance and your job.
- The Family Medical Leave Act applies only to employers with more than 50 employees so, if you work for a small employer, you may find yourself losing your job much sooner than 12 weeks.
2. Loss of Wage Earning Capacity
Loss of wage-earning capacity is determined at the end of a case where a person is found to have a permanent disability. Usually, it’s a permanent partial disability, but it can be a permanent total disability. There are different factors that determine the LWEC. The LWEC is determined not only by your injury and your disability in terms of the degree of disability, but other factors also include your age, your education, other vocational factors, in addition to possible special licenses you might have. A VDF-1 form is required to be filled out before the testimony takes place. After all those questions are answered under oath, and taking the claimant’s testimony, along with the doctor’s deposition, the worker’s compensation law judge will make a determination of what he or she finds that person’s overall loss of wage-earning capacity will be.
3. Scheduled Loss
A scheduled loss of use is typically determined after the person is injured or when they’re post-surgery, whichever is later. Your doctor will take an evaluation of some measurements with a tool, called a goniometer, and record those measurements. In addition, the insurance carrier will likely get their doctor, called an independent medical examiner, also known as IME, to also perform an evaluation, take measurements, and record them. Once those documents are filed, the parties will either try to work something out or litigate the issues. The scheduled loss of use is an award a person gets for the loss of use of that body site, typically a limb, like the arms, legs, digits, things of that nature. That monetary award is supposed to compensate the injured worker for his or her future loss of earning capacity related to that injury for that body site.
4. Applying for Disability Benefits if Your Claim Was Denied
The other day, one of my clients asked me if he should apply for Social Security disability benefits if his worker’s compensation claim was denied. I advised my client that he could apply for Social Security disability benefits either way, whether his claim was approved or denied.
If you’ve been injured at work and have questions about our 4 workers’ compensation tips, contact our experienced Buffalo workers compensation attorneys for a consultation. Let our experience work for you.
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