Will I still be covered for an occupational disease?
In 2011 I was injured, and by 2013 it was determined that I had a radial nerve entrapment (stated by the judge and NYS occupational disease). I had surgery in 2014 and I'm still getting physical therapy. My hand does not completely open yet, it's numb at the surgery site, and I get a burning sensation when I try to lift things.
In 2012 I also had an injury that pulled my thumb and caused me to get cortisone shots. It is now not working, so surgery is waiting to get approved. I do not understand the whole process of what I am going to do, as I am 57 years old and worked for this company since 2008.
The company folded in 2013 and was purchased by a new company in which I was hired into. If it is an occupational disease, how do they determine the Schedule of Loss? And will I lose all rights to future treatment if I'm now working for a different company? Will I be allowed to receive training for a new job? Will I be covered under the disability act?
Sorry for all the questions, I just don't know what's going on. Thank You for any response.
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ANSWER for "Will I still be covered for an occupational disease?":
In the State of New York, a worker who loses his or her use of an injured body part may be entitled, in addition to workers' compensation benefits, an additional award called a Schedule Loss of Use (SLU).
This SLU award is meant to compensate an injured worker for the partial or total loss of use of a body part, including, but not limited to an arm, leg, foot, digits, or a hand. SLU awards are paid even if the worker did not miss any days of work or is back to work.
When your primary care physician determines you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) your physician can assess the degree to which you are disabled. The amount of SLU award will depend on that amount of disability.
Your SLU will be calculated using your average weekly wages, the percent of your disability, and number of weeks provided for based on your nerve damage.
Once you return to work, the new company will be responsible for workers' compensation benefits. Your right to retraining will be entirely dependent upon the new company's decision whether or not to retrain you.
According to New York State's Disability Site "...disability benefits insurance provides temporary cash benefits paid to an eligible wage earner when he/she is disabled by an off the job illness or injury..."
To read more about your rights to disability payments from New York State go here.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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