People hurt in workplace accidents often suffer debilitating harm that renders them eligible to recover workers’ compensation benefits. If an injured worker is deemed partially and temporarily disabled, though, their right to recover such benefits may be in jeopardy unless they prove labor market attachment, or look for work within their medical restrictions. If you suffered injuries at work that left you partially disabled, it is in your best interest to consult an attorney to determine what workers’ compensation benefits you may be able to recover. Valerie Crown of The Law Firm of Valerie J. Crown, Attorney at Law, P.C., is a skillful Rockland County workers’ compensation attorney who can assess the circumstances surrounding your harm and help you gather the evidence needed to protect your interests. Ms. Crown regularly represents people in workers’ compensation matters in Rockland, Orange, Westchester, Dutchess, and Ulster Counties, as well as in the greater metropolitan area.Labor Market Attachment Under New York Law
In New York, temporarily partially disabled employees, seeking ongoing workers’ compensation lost-wage benefits, may be required to prove "labor market attachment." To meet this obligation, claimants must actively pursue gainful employment within the confines of their medical restrictions.
Notably, pursuant to the changes made during the 2017 reform of New York’s Workers’ Compensation laws, workers’ compensation claimants, who were entitled to wage loss benefits at the time they were classified as permanently partially disabled, are no longer required to demonstrate ongoing attachment. This change in the law does not impact workers’ compensation claimants, who are temporarily partially disabled, though, as they still must demonstrate attachment to the labor market.
It is also important to note the distinction between labor market attachment and causally-related lost earnings. In other words, even if claimants were attached to the labor market at the time they were temporarily partially disabled, there may still be a question regarding whether the disability was the reason for ceasing full-time work.Demonstrating Labor Market Attachment
During hearings on the issue of labor market attachment, claimants must provide any evidence and documentation of their attachment to the Workers' Compensation Law judge. If a temporarily, partially disabled employee neglects to demonstrate labor market attachment, the judge may determine that the claimant voluntarily withdrew from the labor market, and the claimant’s workers’ compensation wage-loss benefits may be terminated.
The New York Workers' Compensation Board provides detailed guidance on how claimants can demonstrate labor market attachment. Among other things, they should offer credible documentary evidence showcasing they engaged in job-seeking methods that were reasonable and adequate. Such methods may include independent job searches, participating in job-location services and job retraining programs, engaging in vocational rehabilitation programs, and enrolling in accredited educational institutions tailored to their work restrictions.
The New York Workers’ Compensation Board offers specific forms claimants can use to document their efforts to find employment within their capabilities: the Claimant's Record of Job Search Efforts/Contacts (Form C-258) and the Claimant's Record of Independent Job Search Efforts (Form C-258.1).
If the permanent nature of a workers’ compensation claimant’s partial disability has not been established, the claimant must also submit medical evidence showing a causally related disability for all claimed periods of lost time. The Workers' Compensation Law judge will review this medical evidence to determine the claimant's eligibility for compensation benefits.Meet With a Trusted Rockland County Lawyer
If you have a temporary partial disability due to a workplace injury, you may have to demonstrate labor market attachment in order to recover benefits, and you should meet with an attorney as soon as possible. Valerie Crown of The Law Firm of Valerie J. Crown, Attorney at Law, P.C., is a trusted Rockland County workers’ compensation lawyer with ample experience navigating the complexities of claims arising out of workplace harm. If you hire Valerie, she can assist you in seeking the maximum recoverable workers’ compensation benefits. Ms. Crown’s office is located in New York, and she regularly assists people in workers’ compensation matters in Rockland, Westchester, Orange, Dutchess, and Ulster Counties and in the greater metropolitan area. You can contact Valerie through the form online or by calling 845-708-5900 (office number) or 845-598-8253 (Valerie’s direct cellphone 24/7).