Montemaggi Law - Workers Compensation Attorneys

News

04 Mar 2015

The Dismantling of Your Rights; You do have a voice.

Posted by Paul J. Antonowicz

Propublica.org and NPR recently published an article about changes in Workers' Compensation benefits nationwide. The article underscores a growing decline in Workers' Compensation benefits and the growing inadequacy of those benefits. The article is available to review at http://www.propublica.org/article/the-demolition-of-workers-compensation. I encourage anyone reading this to review the article.

The key points made in the article are:

1- Some states have cut benefits to the point that workers are virtually certain to plummet into poverty. In New York, this was already the case for some workers before the 2007 reforms. The 2007 changes in the law actually increased maximum benefits but implemented a cap that is likely to have devastating effects of workers who are unable to find jobs with their disabilities.

2- Getting medical benefits has been made more difficult. This, at least in some ways, has been the result of the implementation of the Medical Treatment Guidelines in New York. And the business community (or at least the insurance companies) are continuing to seek ways to further limit access to benefits solely to save costs at the expense of injured workers'.

3- All of the cuts that have already taken place and further cuts in benefits being sought are being justified by claims of "out of control" or high costs. However, this is simply untrue. The Propublica/NPR story highlights the savings already had by industry which seriously calls into question claims that costs are "out of control".

4- The cost of all these cuts ends up cost you, I and other taxpayers because these costs get picked up by programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security Disability. Meanwhile, the insurance industry experiences increased profits at the expense of injured workers and taxpayers.

The reforms that have already been passed in New York are, on balance, not that unreasonable from an objective standpoint. There certainly are some problems from the perspective of both sides that could be tweaked. But, we have to guard against further cuts in benefits that would erode benefits to the point that we reach the depths of inhumane and immoral treatment of injured workers in other places that are described by this article. I urge you to contact your state legislators and senators to speak out in defense of your rights and to stop any further unfair erosion of those rights.  If we say nothing, we will always lose.