Jonathan H. Poznansky, Attorney at Law

Staten Island Workers' Comp and SSDI Law Blog

Worker hurt during school repair might need Workers' Compensation

In New York, it is important to maintain school buildings so students can be safe when classes are in session. A key part of that is to perform maintenance work and repairs. Often, this is done during the summer when there is no school. Repairs and maintenance can be dangerous, as workers need to climb to significant heights, use heavy tools and trust other workers to adhere to safety procedures. When there is an accident, serious injuries can occur that can have a negative impact on a worker's life for an extended period. The damage might even be permanent. After a construction accident, those who were hurt should remember that they have the right to seek Workers' Compensation benefits.

A man working on a construction project at a school was injured when he fell through a ceiling. The worker was using heavy machinery when the ceiling collapsed. The worker was hospitalized, but his injuries are not believed to be life-threatening. The investigation into the incident is ongoing.

Workers' compensation and Schedule Loss of Use awards

New Yorkers who are injured on the job and expect to receive workers' compensation benefits should know about certain aspects of the law. One thing they should be aware of is a Schedule Loss of Use award. This is when a cash benefit is paid to the employee for their lost earning power caused by a permanently damaged body part. To get SLU, it is often necessary to have legal assistance.

To be eligible for SLU, the injuries must occur to the arm, hand, leg, foot, eyes, ears, or cause disfigurement. Eligibility for SLU has certain requirements. They are: the person has recovered as much as possible; the doctor has issued a medical report that adheres to the Permanent Impairment Guidelines with a statement that the person has reached maximum medical improvement; and there is a permanent loss of function in the body part. Any damage to the body part that leaves the person with loss of function is sufficient to get SLU. The person will receive compensation for lost earning power.

Help with Federal Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act

In Staten Island and throughout New York, workers understand the importance of workers' compensation benefits. These benefits can provide them with medical care and payments to cover lost income after they have suffered a work-related injury. Often, however, people are unaware that there are specific laws to address certain occupations and help them with their needs with workers' compensation. Once such law is the Federal Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act. People in this industry must be aware of their rights and know how to get the benefits they are entitled to.

With this law, those who are employed on commercial vessels close to or on navigable waters can get benefits tailored to their needs. Included are ship builders, dockworkers who load and unload, medical professionals and others who work on a commercial maritime craft. This is a federal law and it is important to have a law firm that understands all aspects of this law when a worker in this industry needs workers' compensation.

How residual functional capacity affects your SSDI claim

If you are unable to work because of an illness or injury, qualifying for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration may be one of your goals. If your disabling condition is on the SSA's list of approved impairments, you may have a good chance of qualifying for financial assistance. Unfortunately, it is not an easy process, and many people are disappointed when the SSA denies their application for benefits.

The SSA has complex and strict criteria for eligibility for disability benefits to prevent fraud that drains funds away from those who truly need assistance. The SSA defines a disability as an injury or illness that prevents you from working to earn money for your survival, among other stipulations. To determine if you fit this definition, SSA agents will consider many factors to calculate your residual functional capacity.

When should you notify your employer of an injury?

Suffering an injury at work can leave you shocked and uncertain of what to do next. Whether you suffered a fall on a construction site, the effects of a defective product at a manufacturing facility or a repetitive stress injury at the office, you may wonder how to begin the process of receiving the compensation you need while you focus on recovering.

One of the most important components to pursuing workers’ compensation is to report your injury to your supervisor and employer in a timely manner. New York requires injured workers to report their injuries to their employer in most cases within 30 days after the accident.

What does the SSA mean by medical equivalence?

Social Security Disability Income can sometimes be a confusing prospect for Staten Islanders who are unsure if they meet the criteria. One of the keys to getting SSDI benefits is to have an impairment that is on the Listing of Impairments. However, if the injury, illness or condition does not specifically appear on the listing, people might not realize that they can still get benefits if it is medically equivalent to one that is listed.

Understanding what is meant by medical equivalence is imperative to a case. If the person's impairment is equal in severity and duration to a listed impairment, it is medically equivalent. There are three ways in which the Social Security Administration will assess medical equivalence.

Injured construction worker might need workers' compensation

Construction projects are seemingly everywhere in New York. Between building new housing developments and commercial structures, performing maintenance and repairs and more, there is plenty of work for construction workers. While these workers are generally professional and make sure to adhere to proper safety procedures, the construction industry has many accidents that cause injuries and fatalities.

Dangers to contractors could spark workers' compensation claims

Contractors are a vital part of the New York City workforce. Just like any other worker, they can be injured and lose their lives in a workplace accident. For contractors, understanding when they can get workers' compensation benefits and how to go about it can be confusing. Since a recent study indicates the rising danger to contractors, those who have been injured when working in this capacity and families who have lost a loved one should be cognizant of how to be approved for workers' compensation benefits or death benefits after an accident.

The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health says that contract worker deaths are rising in the U.S. At Amazon, there have been six trauma-related deaths in the past six months. All of those killed were working for another company who supplies workers or were contract workers. The accidents happened in areas across the nation and in various capacities.

What is needed for a Social Security Disability application?

For Staten Islanders who are suffering from a condition that prevents them from working, Social Security Disability Income is important to make ends meet and get the medical treatment they need. However, it is wise to remember that the application process requires evidence that the issue is severe enough to warrant SSDI benefits.

Knowing the evidentiary requirements for SSDI is a foundational aspect of a case. The applicant must provide medical evidence to show that the impairment is severe enough to prevent them from working. The SSA will assist the applicant to obtain the medical evidence from medical sources who have conducted an evaluation, an examination and given treatment for the medical issues. Other information, such as evidence from health facilities, medical clinics and hospitals is also beneficial to the case.

What are variances in New York workers' compensation cases?

Because not all injuries incurred at a New York workplace are the same, the way they are treated will be different. With workers' compensation benefits, it is important for the injured worker to understand when a variance from typical treatment will be necessary and how to get approved for it. The law for medical treatment guidelines in workers' compensation cases addresses variances. When there is a dispute over this or any other workers' compensation issue, legal help is critical.

The Medical Treatment Guidelines are used to determine what treatment is necessary. The medical provider treating the injured worker might decide that the patient needs care which varies from what is customary. To receive coverage for this treatment, the patient must request a variance. The carrier, the Special Fund or the Workers' Compensation Board must approve the variance. If treatment has already been provided and it deviated from the guidelines, the variance request will not be considered.

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