Workers' Compensation Tips
Tips from Connors & Ferris to assist you with a New York State Workers’ Compensation Claim.
Taking actions like these can help your case proceed more smoothly.
About New York State Workers’ Compensation Cases and Claims
See Your Doctor Every 8 to 12 Weeks
- Absolutely necessary for you to be eligible for a weekly compensation check
- Applies if you are out of work because of disability or working at reduced earnings (making less money) because of your disability
- Workers’ Compensation Law requires up-to-date medical evidence demonstrating your disability and/or your restrictions related to injuries with a doctor’s visit every 8 to 12 weeks
- At your first doctor visit, disclose to the doctor information regarding any and all past injuries, treatment, etc. for body parts, systems and sites for which you are treating under your workers’ compensation claim. If you don’t disclose prior injuries and treatment, the carrier or the employer could allege that you intentionally concealed this information and this can interfere with your benefits.
Remind Your Doctor to Document Your Degree of Disability In Each Report
- Documentation regarding your disability or work restrictions is critical because your weekly compensation check, if any, will be at least partially based on your doctor’s opinion
- If your doctor believes you are totally disabled, then he or she should say so in every report submitted to the Workers’ Compensation Board
- If your doctor feels you have a partial disability, then he or she should also indicate what restrictions you have relative to your disability in every report (i.e., as in lifting, squatting, standing, pushing, pulling, repetitive use, hours per day, etc…).
Be Sure Your Doctor Sends a Copy of Each Medical Report to the Workers’ Compensation Board and Connors & Ferris
- Your entitlement to compensation benefits is based upon the medical evidence submitted to the Workers’ Compensation Board
- If no reports are submitted, there can be no basis for a judge to initiate or continue a compensation award
- Make sure you let Connors & Ferris know the name and address of any new doctor you see, and tell us of any change in your address or phone number
Look for Work if Your Doctor Says You Have a Partial Disability
- If your doctor gives you work restrictions, regardless of whether your employer will take you back or not, you have an obligation under the law to look for work
- Once given restrictions, you should contact your employer and find out whether or not they can accommodate you
- If your employer cannot accommodate your work restrictions, then apply for unemployment and register with the NYS Department of Labor’s One Stop Career Center
- Look for work within your medical limitations
- If you do not look for work, you may be found by the Board to have voluntarily withdrawn from the labor market and may not be entitled to continuing weekly wage replacement benefits
Make a “Good Faith Effort” to Find Work Within Your Limitations (for Those With a Partial Disability)
It is very important to show that you are making a good faith effort to find work within your limitations. You may be asked at each hearing to testify about your work-search efforts. You can be ready for this by —
- Looking for work within your medical limitations
- Keeping track of your job search by writing down the name of each employer contacted, the name of the individual whom you spoke with, and the date that you contacted them
- Registering with the NYS Department of Labor’s ONE STOP CAREER CENTER and following through with recommendations, training, etc. offered by OSCC
- Participating in any reasonable vocational retraining programs
Disclose to the Insurance Company and Connors & Ferris Immediately When You Perform Any Work (or Work-Like Activity) Whether You Are Paid or Not
- Workers’ Compensation Law requires claimants to disclose to the insurance company immediately upon performing any work or work-like activity, paid or unpaid
- If you fail to disclose to the insurance company your activities and continue to receive workers’ comp payments based upon your disability level while you were out of work, you may be committing Workers’ Compensation fraud
- The law changed in 1996 to make Workers’ Compensation fraud cases easier for employers and insurance companies to prove
- Prompt notification to the insurance company will protect you from such allegations, and limit the chances of an overpayment by the insurance company to you
Provide Connors & Ferris With Copies of Your Pay Stubs and/or W-2s When You Return to Work
If you return to work and are making less money than you did prior to your work injury and if you have continuing restrictions from that injury, you may be entitled to reduced earnings benefits if your lower wage is attributable to your disability. In order for us to calculate whether you are entitled to reduced earnings, we need the following information from you:
- The date you returned to work
- Name of your current employer(s), along with your job title and duties
- Amount of your current gross earnings (hourly earnings x hours per week worked = gross earnings)
- All paystubs and W-2s for the period after you returned to work
Investigate Your Eligibility for Social Security Disability Benefits
- If your doctor indicates you are totally or severely disabled for at least one year, you may be entitled to social security disability or Supplemental Security Income
- Connors & Ferris may be able to help you with your claim for social security disability benefits
- Call us for more information or complete our Get Help Now questionnaire
The above information has been compiled for continual reference based upon our interpretation and experience with Workers’ Compensation. This information is critical to the proper administration of your claim.
716.684.COMP (2667) 2570 Walden Avenue Buffalo, NY 14225
Serving: Fort Erie, Sloan, West Seneca, Lackawanna, Blasdell, Tonawanda, Williamsville, Depew, Lancaster, Orchard Park and Hamburg
585.262.COMP (2667) 3445 Winton Place, Suite 112 Rochester, NY 14623
Serving: Brighton, Pittsford, Henrietta, Webster, Greece, Gates, Honeoye Falls, Penfield, Fairport, East Rochester, Canandaigua and Brockport.