My name is Michael Serres and I’m an attorney in the State of New York that handles Workers’ Compensation Claims. Today I want to talk to you about what are known as Scheduled Loss of Use awards or SLU awards under the New York Worker Compensation Law.
A Scheduled Loss of Use Award is an award of money an injured worker may be entitled to for an injury suffered to one of their extremities. An extremity is typically a body part other than your head, neck, or back. Meaning arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet, or toes.
Under the New York State Workers’ Compensation Law, workers suffer an injury to one of their extremities. At the end of their case, they may be entitled to an additional award of money, above and beyond whatever the insurance carrier may have paid the claimant for the weeks or time they were out of work. At the conclusion of their case, which is usually about a year after a person’s accident or about a year after surgery.
If the claimant doesn’t require any additional treatment, there’s no need for ongoing physical therapy for example, if the person is still not out of work. In other words, if you go back to work after the accident, you can go and visit your doctor, and your doctor would fill out a medical form or report indicating what is the permanent percentage damage that you may have suffered to the body part in question. So, for example, if the worker injured their hand, the doctor would examine their hand and fill out a report indicating what portion or percentage of permanent damage is left in that hand.
Under the New York Workers’ Compensation Law, there’s a schedule that lists all these body parts and their value, so to speak, in a number of weeks. So, depending on the percentage of damage that the person has, they may be entitled to a final award at the end of their case. If this award is fixed, the case is typically deemed closed, but the case can always be reopened if the body part in question becomes worse, such that the person may need more treatment, may need more surgery, may need more physical therapy. So, even closing your case under a Scheduled Loss of Use Award doesn’t mean that your case is closed forever. The case can be reopened if there is a worsening of the condition.
Again, my name is Michael Serres. I handle New York Workers’ Compensation cases. If you ever have any questions about your case, whether it’s about a Scheduled Loss of Use Award or any other aspect of it, I want you to pick up the phone and give me a call. Thank you.