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 …Continue Reading
Category: Temporary Total Disability (TTD)
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, …Continue Reading
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 …Continue Reading
Garrett v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.
In a recent case, Garrett v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (Garrett II), the North Carolina Court of Appeals affirmed the Industrial Commission’s determination that a claimant was not disabled due to her failure to engage in a reasonable job search. This case was before the North Carolina Court of Appeals a second time.
In its first hearing on the matter, the Industrial Commission concluded the claimant’s neck injury was compensable and awarded her total temporary disability compensation (TTD) for a 14-month period. Both parties …Continue Reading
Leveraging Compromises in the New York Workers’ Compensation System
Compromises are a vital and frequent part of the workers’ compensation litigation process. However, one should take care to avoid negotiating them out of habit. With two doctors giving irreconcilable opinions, parties will often agree to split benefits straight down the middle in lieu of litigation.
Sometimes, such as when both parties concede partial disability and are within a close margin, this is a helpful way to allay costs of depositions and further court appearances. Often, upon hearing the word “compromise,” a judge will automatically …Continue Reading
Undocumented Immigrants Lose Out on Benefits
Under the Connecticut workers’ compensation statutes (codified under Title 31), immigrants who are not U.S. citizens enjoy many, but not all, of the same rights as U.S. citizens. The workers’ compensation system affords medical and indemnity benefits to eligible claimants. Within the indemnity category, there are lost time benefits, permanency benefits, and earning impairment benefits. Particularly, this eligibility hinges on whether an individual is documented and can legally work in the United States.
Immigrants that lack citizenship or proper documentation are still eligible for medical …Continue Reading
Proposed New York State Bill Proposes Sweeping Changes to NYS Workers’ Compensation System
Assemblyman Harry Bronson and State Senator Jessica Ramos have recently introduced Bill A7045 to the NYS Assembly and Senate that proposes sweeping changes to the NYS Workers’ Compensation System. As discussed below, if the bill were to be passed in its present form, it will have an impact on not only injured worker’s rights to potentially pursue a claim against their employer following a work-related injury, but also on how the workers’ compensation claim is handled throughout its duration.
Perhaps one of the most sweeping …Continue Reading
It’s All About the Money — Recent Developments Regarding the Calculation of Claimant’s Average Weekly Wage
Recently, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland (CSA) weighed in on the calculation of claimant’s average weekly wage when an employee, hired for full-time employment, involuntarily worked in a part-time capacity in the weeks leading up to his accidental injury. In Richard Beavers Construction, Inc., et al. v. Wagstaff, 2018 WL 1129655 (2018), the CSA held that the Workers’ Compensation Commission properly determined a claimant’s average weekly wage based on the claimant’s anticipated 40 hour work week rather than using the six weeks …Continue Reading
Holocker Widens the Interstate: A New Workers’ Compensation Decision Sets Forth Employer Defenses to Terminate Temporary Total Disability Benefits
A recent Workers’ Compensation decision has outlined employer defenses to terminate temporary total disability (TTD) benefits prior to a maximum medical improvement (MMI) finding.
In Holocker v. Ill. Workers’ Comp. Comm’n, 2017 IL App (3d) 160363WC (June 16, 2017), the Appellate Court affirmed that termination of temporary total disability benefits was proper despite the petitioner’s ongoing causally related treatment. The court also affirmed that termination of benefits due to the petitioner’s discharge for cause was proper because the petitioner’s restrictions had no effect on …Continue Reading