Montemaggi Law - Workers Compensation Attorneys

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05 Jul 2013

What is a schedule loss of use?

Posted by Paul J. Antonowicz

Claimant's often have difficulty understanding what the future holds in their claim.  This will be the first in a series of blog entries discussing what type of permanent disabilities are possible in New York Workers' Compensation cases.  This entry deals with what are called "schedule losses of use".  This type of award happens in cases where the injury is to an extremity (fingers, hands, arms, toes, legs, feet, etc.).  Similar awards are also given for loss of hearing and loss of vision.  Each of those have unique aspects, but are basically quite similar to extremity inuries in results.  This does not apply to back or neck injuries.

A schedule loss of use is an award of a fixed number of weeks based upon a percentage loss of use of the injured body part.  The weeks are set in the law and each body part has a certain number of weeks.  To figure out how much a certain percentage is worth in dollars reguires figuring out how many weeks the percentage equals and multiplying that number of weeks by the payment rate.  For example, a claimant injures her arm at work and there is a 25% loss of use.  Under the law, 100% of an arm is worth 312 weeks of benefits.  So, 25% is worth 78 weeks.  If the payment rate is $400, the amount of the permanent disability award is $31,200.  But, any prior payments by the employer or insurance company get deducted from that.  So, if the claimant stayed out for a full year and was paid $600 a week in full wages by their employer, she woukd have already gotten $31,200 and receive no additional money. If. however, she was only out of work 8 weeks and received $600 per week form the emloyer, she would have a balance due to her of $26,400 before any fee to an attorney.  This is the reason it is so beneficial to get back to work as quickly as possible in these cases.  The schedule loss is awarded whether you actually lose time from work or not.