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Disabling workplace injuries may qualify for cash benefits

The idea of compensation for workplace injuries can sometimes be a confusing thing. On the one hand, it makes sense that an injured worker should be covered for lost wages, medical expenses and other damages that are easy to put a price tag on. But what about injuries that take longer to recover from, or those from which a full recovery is not possible?

Workers in New York state may qualify for an additional benefit if injuries to certain parts of the body leave them with less ability in that area than they previously had. Known as a Schedule Loss of Use award, the benefit provides a cash payment even if the injured employee is able to return to work. In fact, employees may qualify even if they didn't need to use any time off of work related to the accident.

The New York State Workers' Compensation Board details the different body parts considered. They include:

  • Arms, hands and fingers
  • Legs, feet and toes
  • Eyes, ears and the face (if scarred), including the neck and scalp

Joints in these parts (e.g., wrists, shoulders, knees) are also included. The types of workplace injuries generally qualifying for an SLU include severe burns, fractures, crush injuries, serious nerve damage, and some types of surgeries, including amputations.

The New York State Workers' Compensation Board website has more details on the types of injuries and body parts. We'll continue our review (intended as general information for our readers only) next week with a look at the process for seeking an SLU, and how much one might expect to receive.

Source: New York State Workers' Compensation Board, "Understanding Your Schedule Loss of Use Award," accessed on Oct. 17, 2015

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