NY SLU Changes Not As "Painful" to Injured Workers As Expected

Wed, Feb 7th, 2018

With a collective sigh of relief from New York's injured and non-injured workers alike, the NY Workers' Compensation Board has revealed its not-as-bad-as-expected 2018 amendments to the Schedule Loss of Use (SLU) Guidelines.  (You will recall from my last blog that these SLU's provide some compensation to injured workers who experience permanent damage to arms, legs, hands, feet or eyes.  You will also recall that the proposed amendments were illogical, unfounded, drastic, and outwardly unfair to the injured worker.) 

Workers all over the state owe a debt of gratitude to the 110,000+ workers, union members and concerned citizens who took the time to voice their outrage at the originally proposed amendments via postcards, web surveys, Emails and picket lines.  Thanks are also in order for members of the Injured Workers' Bar Association (of which I am a proud member) and Workers' Compensation Alliance, as well as our leaders in Albany who responded to the needs and concerns of their constituents.

New York's workers did not survive the amendments completely unscathed, however.  The WCB did, indeed, lessen the rates of SLU's in a few areas, most notably regarding shoulders, knees and total joint replacements.  For instance, an injured worker who suffers a rotator cuff tear in the shoulder, with or without surgery, is no longer entitled to a SLU  based on that alone.  (This, despite the fact that every orthopedic surgeon in the state will tell you that a rotator cuff tear permanently weakens the shoulder, as it is absolutely crucial to both the function and stability of the glenohumeral joint.)  Similarly, a meniscal tear in the knee no longer, alone, warrants a SLU.  (The meniscus is the cartilage, or rubbery cushion, between the thigh bone and the shin.  One can easily imagine the problems that ensue when this cushion is gone.) 

If anyone would like more information on the new amendments, feel free to call me and I would be happy to discuss them with you.

One thing we can all take away from this experience is the knowledge and, yes, satisfaction, that our collective voices can be heard.  And also that our politicians do, indeed, listen.  Well, mostly.



« Back to list page

Free Consultation & No Risk Policy

There is no fee unless we are able to achieve a monetary result for you. Even then, only if you and the judge agree to the amount of the fee. Complete the short form below for a free consultation or to simply Learn More.