Many injured workers find themselves in the dilemma of being unable to return to their prior work, but without medical evidence to support the proposition that they have a temporary or permanent total disability. In this instance, the New York State Worker’s Compensation Law requires that the injured worker/claimant demonstrate that they are attached to the workforce.
Failure to demonstrate an attachment to the workforce may result in a temporary or permanent suspension of lost wage benefits.
Sometimes, this argument is made by asserting that the claimant has voluntarily removed themselves from the workforce because the claimant has not taken steps to seek work within their abilities. A finding that the injured worker is entitled to Social Security Disability is not a protection from this defense.
Most times attachment to the labor market is raised when the injured worker has been at a partial level of disability for an extended period of time or there’s been a finding a permanent partial disability. Nevertheless, whenever the injured worker is at a partial level of disability it is best to take steps to demonstrate attachment to the workforce, before the issue is raised by the carrier or the employer.
There are three simple things that can be done to demonstrate attachment to the workforce:
- Demonstrate you are working with ACCES- VR
- Register with New York State One-Stop centers
- Conduct independent job search and record the information Board form C-258
ACCES VR stands for adult career and continuing education services – vocational rehabilitation. ACCES-VR offers a full range of employment services for persons with disabilities. Generally, the process is commenced by an orientation session and then an application and evaluation. We encourage all participants of ACCES-VR to document their involvement and to obtain written confirmation of what can and cannot be offered by ACCES-VR. For more information visit http://www.acces.nysed.gov/vr/
New York State Department of Labor operates career centers across the state of New York, often referred to as “one-stop”. The centers assist both disabled and unemployed citizens in finding appropriate work. Again, we recommend that all participants document their efforts with the One-Stop Center and to continue involvement until the case has been resolved. For detailed information click on this link http://www.labor.ny.gov/careerservices/special-services.shtm.
Lastly an injured worker with a temporary or permanent partial disability should maintain an ongoing job search. The search should include both part and full time employment consistent with the claimant’s documented restrictions and/or limitations. We recommend that the efforts be documented on the New York State Worker’s Compensation Board form C-258, to be downloaded at this link here. It is our recommendation that independent job search be done in conjunction with participation in ACCES-VR and the New York State Dept. of Labor’s One-Stop centers.