Work site managers, foremen, and regulatory agencies all strive to make construction sites, warehouses and other industrial zones as safe as possible. But accidents do happen in these busy and vibrant environments.

When a worker suffers an injury, he or she must report it immediately, file a claim with the insurance company. Then the insurance company specifies the rehab program that injured worker must complete.

Some injuries are so serious that a full complete recovery is not possible, or the worker will lose a body part or the function of that body part. The insurance company will pay a cash benefit for a specific type of loss. New York State has a Schedule Loss of Use for injuries incurred on the job.

Worker eligibility

As part of your workers’ comp claim, a doctor will manage and monitor your rehabilitation and recovery program. He or she will order required physical or occupational therapy or any other necessary care. Your doctor and you should be communicating openly and consistently about your injury and progress in recovery.

During the rehabilitation process, the physician will determine if you can fully recover, incurred a partial permanent loss or suffered full loss of a part of the body. After a certain period, the doctor will report whether you have achieved the maximum medical improvement (MMI). When you have reached the MMI, the doctor will file your medical report with the insurance company and then you will to receive compensation for your loss.

SLU Awards

New York provides a Schedule Loss of Use (SLU) for injured workers who have suffered a permanent and permanent partial disability. This applies to various body parts, including upper and lower limbs, eyes and other areas. The New York Workers’ Compensation Board provides the table below for calculating the worker’s loss and compensation.

To accurately calculate the loss, you can refer to the New York Worker’s Compensation Board SLU Chart. You take the maximum number of weeks for the body part injury, percentage of loss of use, duration of the benefits, average week wage, and payout of two-thirds to determine the amount of compensation. For example, the maximum allowed benefit for a hand injury is 244 weeks of compensation. If it’s determined that you suffered 50% loss of use, calculate 244 x 50% to arrive at the sum of 122. If your average gross wage per week is $1,000, the state compensates you two-thirds of that wage. Thus, this amount comes to $660. To determine the SLU award, you take 122x 660 to arrive at $80,520 for total compensation.

Nonscheduled awards

An injured worker may have sustained an injury that was not included on the schedule, and this may be a permanent or permanent partial disability to head, spine or another part of the body. The compensation schedule is similar to the one above. It will be two thirds of your pre-injury annual earnings.

For a worker out on workers’ comp, it’s an extremely trying and emotionally difficult time. Most are working hard to recover from injury. Your health and ability to perform your job is undetermined. In addition, you’re concerned about how this affects your family and financial security. But you should be confident that protections are in place to serve the injured workers in the state of New York.