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 State: NY

 

Business Council Praises Board Initiatives in PPD Cases

 

The Business Council of New York State on Monday praised an initiative launched by the State Workers' Compensation Board to expedite the classification of workers in permanent partial disability cases.

 

The council said in a press release that classification is a "crucial step" in imposing the duration caps on benefits in permanent partial disability cases included in the workers' compensation reforms signed into law by former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer in 2007.

 

The reforms capped benefits for nonschedule PPD injuries at between 225 and 525 weeks, depending on the percentage of a worker's lost wage-earning capacity. New York requires that workers be classified as having reached maximum medical improvement and be rated for impairment and lost wage-earning capacity before the caps can be imposed.

 

Board Chairman Robert Beloten announced last week he would designate a judge at each of the board's 29 hearing points to handle only classification cases and will begin enforcing penalties against parties who delay the process.

 

Beloten said both claimants and private carriers have slowed down the process.

In a letter to SWCB Executive Director Jeffrey Fenster, Business Council President and CEO Heather Briccetti said the council "has consistently raised concerns that the durational caps on nonschedule PPDs have created an incentive for claimants to delay classification, because they receive temporary benefits in the interim."

 

The news release and Briccetti's letter are here.

 

Source: WorkCompCentral

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