Limited Reopening of New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Court Set For April 6th

The Director of the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Court has announced a limited reopening set for April 6, 2020. The Director previously announced that all courts would be closed from March 17, 2020 to April 3, 2020 on the heels of the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Courts will conduct telephonic conferences on a limited basis for all emergent matters and some non-emergent matters. This will include trials, motions for medical and temporary disability benefits, settlements by affidavit, and pretrial conferences.

Goldberg Segalla will continue to update you …

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COVID-19: Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Commission Institutes Temporary Emergency Guidelines

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Commission has instituted temporary emergency guidelines that will directly impact the day-to-day operations of the Commission as well as the speed at which cases will be heard. In response to this unprecedented event, the Commission has postponed all dockets for March 17, 2020 and March 18, 2020 to facilitate its transition to a primarily telephonic docket beginning March 19, 2020. Any emergency cases postponed due to the two-day closure will be scheduled for a telephonic …

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Redefining Total Disability: How to Approach Nonschedule Claims After Jacobi

In a post-2007 reform world, the percentage disability became more important for one major purpose: establishing a capped benefit system for nonscheduled awards. From a carrier perspective, this was a positive and a step in the right direction as the Board was finally placing limits on the number of weeks that a claimant with a partial disability rate can receive benefits.  The issue arose then of what to do with a claimant who was classified with a nonscheduled award, but subsequently had a period of …

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Practice Tips and Tactics Involving Additional Providers in New York

On January 1, 2020, additional medical providers have been authorized to treat claimants under the New York State workers’ compensation system. Physicians, chiropractors, podiatrists, and psychologists are joined by physical therapists, occupational therapists, physician’s assistants, nurse practitioners, licensed clinical social workers, and acupuncturists as Board-authorized providers. Not all approved providers have blanket approval from the Board, though. The differences in approval of the expanded providers give the carriers and self-insured employer the upper hand in some situations under New York State workers’ compensation.

Of note, …

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Increasing Rights: Osterlund Benefits for the Undocumented Individual & Medical Marijuana Benefits

The Connecticut workers’ compensation system is designed to assist the injured worker when claiming a valid and compensable injury. Over the years, the rights of the injured worker have been expanded, amended, and challenged. Recently, two Connecticut Review Board (CRB) decisions increased those rights once again.

Medical marijuana use has been legalized in several states; however, it is not federally legalized, which causes various issues. In Connecticut, recreational marijuana use is still illegal, while medical marijuana for certain conditions (i.e., chronic back pain, anxiety, etc.) …

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Giving 110 Percent: Apportionment in Classification Claims

Workers’ Compensation Law (WCL) Section 15 outlines the schedules of compensation payable to the claimant upon a determination that the claimant is disabled—permanent total, temporary total, permanent partial, and temporary partial. Specifically, WCL Section 15(3)(w) pertains to claims of permanent partial disability that are not amenable to a schedule loss of use or disfigurement findings, commonly referred to as classification cases or LWEC cases.

Beginning in 2007, the legislature amended the WCL as it pertains to classification cases. Previously, upon a finding of permanent disability, …

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Using the Labor Market Attachment Defense to Your Advantage During a LWEC Trial

Under Workers’ Compensation Law Section 15(3), if a claimant has a permanent impairment to a non-schedule site, then the claimant is compensated for his or her actual loss of wage earning capacity (LWEC) caused by the disability. This stage in workers’ compensation litigation is known as classification. During the LWEC trial, the law judge not only considers a claimant’s permanent medical impairment but also vocational factors such as age, education, language ability, work history, and transferrable skills that may mitigate or aggravate the percentage of …

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Obtaining and Maintaining Proper Working Papers – It’s No Minor Task

Prior to hiring a minor (an employee who is under the age of 18), an employer has an obligation to obtain the minor’s employment certificate or permit issued in accordance with the education law (commonly referred to as “working papers”). Prior to the minor starting work, the employer must file this certificate at the place of the minor’s employment so that it may be readily accessible to any person authorized by law to examine such a document.

If a minor is injured while on the …

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Medication and Transportation (M&T) Reimbursement in New York: A Primer

New York Workers’ Compensation Law (WCL) dictates that an injured worker is entitled to reimbursement for certain expenses relating to an established compensable claim. WCL Section 13(a) provides that an employer is obligated to provide an injured employee with such medical, surgical, or other attendance or treatment as the nature of the injury or the process for recovery may require. In kind, courts have ruled that transportation costs incurred in connection with medical treatment are compensable if reasonable, and that the statute should be interpreted …

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North Carolina Court of Appeals Retains Pre-Reform Definition of Suitable Employment

Suitable employment is an issue frequently litigated in workers’ compensation claims in North Carolina. Typically, a job is offered and the claimant refuses the job on the basis that it is allegedly unsuitable. For decades, this issue has troubled employers because claimants could, with seeming impunity, refuse legitimate work and continue to collect temporary total disability.

Prior to 2011, North Carolina case law dictated that post-maximum medical improvement (MMI) employment must be (1) available in the local labor market, (2) reasonably attainable and offers opportunity …

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