SLU or Not to SLU- That is the Question

Claimants may be entitled to schedule loss of use (SLU) awards for permanent injuries sustained to arms, legs, hands, feet, eyes, fingers, and toes, known as “schedule injuries.” Injuries sustained to the head, neck, and back, known as “nonscheduled injuries,” are typically subject to classification of a permanent partial disability (PPD) or permanent total disability (PTD), based on loss of wage earning capacity. An issue arises when a claimant has
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Getting the Most From the Labor Market Attachment

In New York State, the minimum requirements for the labor market attachment provide a truly low hurdle for a claimant to jump over. Rather than actually attempt to find gainful employment, a claimant usually needs to simply go through the motions: go to a one-stop career center a few times, apply to a handful of jobs each week online, or otherwise spend less than an hour each week trying to
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Maryland Statutes of Limitation are Not Liberally Construed in Favor of the Claimant

Bonnie Miller v. Jacobs Technology, Inc.[1] , an unreported case handed down from the Court of Special Appeals earlier this year is unequivocal in its holding that the all statutes of limitation in the Workers’ Compensation Act will not be liberally construed in favor of the claimant. In Bonnie Miller v. Jacobs Technology, Inc., the claimant sustained an accidental injury on September 29, 2011 and filed a claim with the commission
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One Missing IME, Too Many

I recently attended a hearing that was scheduled pursuant to claimant’s RFA-1, requesting reinstatement of awards. You’re probably wondering, why were awards suspended in the first place? Because claimant had missed three scheduled independent medical examinations (IMEs)! She also did not have current medical evidence of a further causally related disability at the last hearing. The prior notice of decision read wonderfully, “suspension is effective until such time that the
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Is the Labor Market Attachment Forever Over?

As of 2017, a claimant with a permanent partial disability (PPD) who is entitled to awards when they are classified does not have to demonstrate ongoing labor market attachment (LMA). The mentality since the change in 2017 has been that if a claimant is entitled at classification then there is no way to bring up LMA in the future. Prior to the 2017 reform, from December 23, 2010 through February
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New York Court of Appeals Caps the “Additional Compensation” Awarded to Claimants Who Exhaust a Schedule Loss of Use Award

On December 11, 2018, the New York State Court of Appeals decided Matter of Mancini v. Office of Children and Family Services, 2018 N.Y. Slip. Op. 08425, 2018 WL 6492707. At issue was the “additional compensation” entitled to injured workers who exhausted their Schedule of Loss award (SLU) when such award was 50 percent or greater. The claimant argued that the reference to WCL Section 15(3)(w) in Section 15(3)(v) only
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Verbal Threshold Does Not Bar Employers’ Subrogation

Section 40 of the New Jersey workers’ compensation statute allows employers or workers’ compensation carriers to automatically receive reimbursement of benefits paid to an injured worker from a third party tortfeasor – either directly from the tortfeasor, or from an award received by the injured worker in a third party claim. But what happens when an injured worker is barred from suing the third party tortfeasor? Can the employer or
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Recent Trends an “Inextricably Intertwined’ Universe

Oftentimes we see applicants who sustain a specific injury but continue to work thereafter and simultaneously developed a cumulative trauma injury. When evaluating an applicant, the California Labor Code specifically requires a physician to determine what percentage of disability was caused by each industrial injury. This is consistent with the new system of apportionment under SB 899 and the enactment of Labor Code section 4663 and section 4664 which is based
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Maryland’s Second Highest Court Recounts and Applies Critical Zakwieia and Reger Cases in Rendering New Opinion

The 2017 calendar year saw the introduction of two prominent cases addressing the offset afforded under Labor and Employment Section 9-610 and two simple words: “similar benefits.”  Two cases, two words … little to no clarity. Now, 2018 has seen its first opinion from Maryland’s highest court addressing the critical statute governing disability benefits owed to covered employees of governmental units or quasi-public corporations. A more complete analysis of the
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The Law Is Fickle – Maryland Court of Appeals Clarifies Zakwieia, the Phrase “Similar Benefits,” and its Effect on Disability Offsets

Recently, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland (CSA) held that the phrase “similar benefits,” found within LE §9-610, examined whether an employee’s ordinary disability benefits provided a similar wage loss benefit to the employee’s workers’ compensation benefits. Zakwieia v. Baltimore County, Board of Education, 231 Md. App. 644 (2017). The practice of law is fast-paced and waits for no one. In Reger v. Washington County Board of Education, et
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