Category Archives: New York

New York Workers’ Compensation Board Proposes a “Second Draft” of the 2018 Impairment Guidelines – and these are Not Favorable to Employers and Carriers.

The day before Thanksgiving the Board released new proposed Guidelines – and these are not great for employers. But wait, what about the draft Guidelines that were issued in September and we were so excited for? Those Guidelines, widely viewed as favorable to carrier and employers as they appeared designed to curtail the worst abuses of the current impairment determination guidelines, have been scrapped.

The new proposed Guidelines are here. When you check them out it will be clear that the old “range of motion” system that the Board was supposed to scrap and start over from has returned. The whole point of the April 2017 statutory reform was that the Board had to adopt updated Scheduled Loss of Use guidelines that reflected “medical advances” (i.e., better outcomes for basic injuries) and were supposed to address the fact that employees with minor injuries, with little or no impact on their working ability, were collecting giant SLU awards, often with only a few days of lost time (which goes to show that there really wasn’t any impact on their working ability). Instead, the Board has caved into pressure from union and “pro-worker” groups (read: trial attorneys representing workers and collecting fat fees) and issued new Guidelines that are bad for businesses and carriers.

Why is this a big deal?

The Board must adopt new Guidelines for Determining Impairment in Schedule Loss of Use cases (think fingers, hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, knees, ankles, feet, toes) which will take effect on January 2, 2018. The first proposed impairment guidelines were a departure from the prior practice before the Board – in a good way! The initial draft was favorable to employers in that the most frustrating and unfair cases – where the claimant loses minimal time from work for a Schedule Loss of Use Injury (meaning, a minor injury) would result in giant Scheduled Loss of Use awards based on range of motion testing. In those cases, where there was neglible (if any) impact on the claimant’s working ability, it is patently unfair that the employer must pay large Schedule Loss of Use awards based on turn of the century medical guidelines that don’t reflect anything more than subjective range of motion tests. These latest draft guidelines bring back that old range of motion system.

What can we do about it?

The proposed Guidelines are now in “comment period.” Comments can be made here. The Board was clearly persuaded by the flood of comments from the unions and trial attorneys – we are recommending that our clients review the “new” Guidelines and make comments urging the Board to adopt the first proposed impairment guideline.

Training on the New Guidelines.

We will be running training on the new Guidelines, in whatever form they take, on January 8, 2017 in multiple sessions. Register here:
Register for 12PM EST January 8 – New Guidelines Training
Register for 3PM EST January 8 – New Guidelines Training

Both webinars are LIVE and Questions-and-Answer sessions will be held.

Video: Evaluating Permanency Exposure in New York Workers’ Compensation Claims

Attorneys Tashia Rasul and Tim Kane lead a presentation and answer questions on evaluating exposure for Loss of Wage Earning Capacity awards in New York workers’ compensation claims.

Subject: New York, Workers’ Compensation Law, LWEC, Permanency, Exposure
Date Presented: November 20, 2017
Presenter(s): Tashia Rasul and Tim Kane
Run time: 29:30


Continue reading Video: Evaluating Permanency Exposure in New York Workers’ Compensation Claims

Virtual Hearings Coming To New York!

The New York Workers’ Compensation Virtual Hearings pilot program will be rolled out starting next week for hearings at the Menands (Albany) hearing point.

Virtual Hearings will allow injured workers, attorneys/representatives, witnesses and other participants to attend hearings online. Participants will no longer have to travel to a hearing site to attend their hearing. For the time being, parties will have the option to attend any hearing eligible for a virtual hearing either in person, as they normally would, or via the Board’s video conference software program.

According to the Board website:

Virtual Hearings will be rolled out gradually to districts throughout New York State after the successful completion of the Board’s Virtual Hearing pilot. The pilot moves into the next stage with Virtual Hearings available in the Albany District Office, located in Menands, beginning November 13, 2017.

If you are eligible to attend your hearing virtually, you will see a notification of ““Virtual Hearing Available” adobe pdf at the bottom of your hearing notice, along with detailed instructions.

There is no set time frame for when all Workers’ Compensation hearings in the state will be eligible for a virtual hearing but it is clear this is coming state-wide in the near future.

Anyone that has set foot in a hearing point recently has seen updated technology in many of the hearing points and presumably this is the Board preparing for the roll out across the state.

The Board has been hosting a series of webinar training sessions for attorneys and representatives to provide instructions on how to attend hearings virtually, as well as how to use the new check-in procedure when appearing in person. During a “Question & Answers” segment of one of the webinars it was disclosed that claimants will be allowed to attend virtual hearings using audio only but attorneys and representatives will be required to appear via video. Additionally, it appears the plan is eventually for all hearings aside from discrimination matters to be eligible for the virtual hearing process.

It is anticipated there will be many “growing pains” as the Board implements this new process. Presumably, regulations and new Board rules will follow.

If you wish to have monthly NY workers’ compensation updates sent to your inbox, feel free to sign up for our monthly newsletter here

Download ePub/iBooks Version of 2018 New York Workers’ Compensation Law Handbook

New York Workers' Compensation Law 2018 HandbookThis is the ePub version of “New York Workers’ Compensation Law – 2018 Edition” by Gregory Lois (compatible with Apple’s iBooks format). This is the most practical, up-to-date and easy-to-understand guide to New Jersey workers’ compensation claims available. This book is designed for employers, attorneys, claims adjusters, physicians, self-insured employers and vocational rehabilitation workers. This guide is written in plain English by a New Jersey attorney and provides a detailed analysis of relevant statutes and regulations; a complete recap of recent court decisions; and a full description of current practice and procedure. This book provides a behind-the-scenes look at the complicated issues and makes the law understandable for business owners.

A comprehensive description, including a list of what was updated since the last (2017) edition and complete chapter list is here.


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Looking for a different version or more information about this book? The book is also available in PDF format and for Kindle.

Need multiple copies for your team? Contact Greg.

Download Kindle Edition of 2018 New York Workers’ Compensation handbook

New York Workers' Compensation Law 2018 HandbookThis is the Kindle  version of “New York Workers’ Compensation Law – 2018 Edition” by Gregory Lois. This is the most practical, up-to-date and easy-to-understand guide to New Jersey workers’ compensation claims available. This book is designed for employers, attorneys, claims adjusters, physicians, self-insured employers and vocational rehabilitation workers. This guide is written in plain English by a New Jersey attorney and provides a detailed analysis of relevant statutes and regulations; a complete recap of recent court decisions; and a full description of current practice and procedure. This book provides a behind-the-scenes look at the complicated issues and makes the law understandable for business owners.

A comprehensive description, including a list of what was updated since the last (2017) edition and complete chapter list is here.


Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Looking for a different version or more information about this book? The book is also available in PDF format and an iBooks edition (compatible with Apple devices, like iPads).

Need multiple copies for your team? Contact Greg.

Download PDF Edition of 2018 New York Workers’ Compensation Handbook

New York Workers' Compensation Law 2018 HandbookThis is the PDF (Adobe Acrobat) version of “New York Workers’ Compensation Law – 2018 Edition” by Gregory Lois. This is the most practical, up-to-date and easy-to-understand guide to New Jersey workers’ compensation claims available. This book is designed for employers, attorneys, claims adjusters, physicians, self-insured employers and vocational rehabilitation workers. This guide is written in plain English by a New Jersey attorney and provides a detailed analysis of relevant statutes and regulations; a complete recap of recent court decisions; and a full description of current practice and procedure. This book provides a behind-the-scenes look at the complicated issues and makes the law understandable for business owners.

A comprehensive description, including a list of what was updated since the last (2017) edition and complete chapter list is here.


Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Looking for a different version or more information about this book? The book is also available in Kindle format and an iBooks edition (compatible with Apple devices, like iPads).

Need multiple copies for your team? Contact Greg.