The new workers compensation rules could put you at risk, yes. New York unions are fighting proposed workers comp rules that could dramatically reduce your amount of compensation as an injured work. This is especially true if you are a worker with impaired arm or leg use.
What Is the Reason for the Change in Regulations?
According to the New York Daily News, in April Governor Cuomo and state lawmakers passed legislation that required the Workers Compensation Board to update its guidelines. The reason given was medical advances in technology have made it easier for workers to return to work faster. Consequently, the Board is in the process of revamping the rules. But it is still accepting public responses to its proposed changes. Its deadline to have new rules in place is January 1, 2018.
Statistics that supported the required changes were:
- In 2015, the state paid $1.3 billion to workers with leg or arm impairments.
- Of $1.3 billion, $900 million went to workers who had returned at work within two weeks of the injury.
Why Are Union Leaders Contesting the Changes?
AFL-CIO President Mario Cliento argued that the new regulations would make it considerably more difficult for workers to obtain independent medical examinations. Such examinations are often necessary for fair claims.
In addition, the board would be able to deny claims when an injured worker refused to cooperate with an insurance company that was requesting an independent examination.
He went on to say that workers who lost the use of a body part would be at risk for “increasing uncertainty, delay and litigation.” He urged the Board to scrap the current rules and draft new ones.
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