October 15, 2018
New York’s workers’ compensation laws provide benefits for injured workers who have been hurt on the job. The system does not only benefit those workers who are permanently disabled from work, but also those who are temporarily disabled, whether to a total or partial degree.
Any employee claiming workers’ comp benefits for a temporary partial disability is required to meet an ongoing “labor market attachment” requirement. In 2017 the law was slightly changed in that now an employee who is classified with a permanent partial disability and who is entitled to benefits at the time of classification need not fulfill that requirement. However, the labor market attachment rule continues to apply to injured workers with a temporary partial disability in order to receive ongoing temporary disability benefits.
How to show Labor Market Attachment
An injured worker is said to be attached to the labor market if they are “making reasonable efforts to obtain gainful employment” within the medical restrictions placed by their doctor. This means, if you are partially disabled, you must continue looking for a job you are capable of performing with your disability, and which matches your experience and skills. It is important to know whether or not your job is holding a position for you; if they are, this requirement may not apply to you.
If labor market attachment is a requirement for maintaining workers’ comp benefits, your efforts to find appropriate employment must be demonstrated in well-documented proof. Typically such proof is submitted on Forms C-258 and C-258.1 and documents the claimant’s independent job search or participation in a job placement service.
Independent job search
When a disabled worker conducts their own independent job search, the Workers’ Compensation Board needs to see evidence that the search is “timely, diligent, and persistent,” and the documentation must be detailed. Therefore, for each job application, the job-seeker should record the date, job title, name of the potential employer, type of job, contact name, the application or resume submitted, and the employer’s response.
A record should also be kept of any interviews with a potential employer and all additional correspondence. For an online job search, the worker should be able to produce confirmation e-mails and reference numbers for all job applications.
Job placement and vocational rehabilitation services
If a partially disabled worker opts to seek employment through a job placement service (such as a One-Stop Career Center) or vocational rehab program (such as ACCES-VR), they must show evidence of active participation. Active participation includes the following steps:
- Making an appointment
- Attending orientation
- Meeting with a career counselor
- Creating a resume and submitting it to the career center
- Keeping in contact with the career center
- Following up on all job leads
Workers’ Comp representatives in New York
Although the 2017 changes made it easier for certain injured employees to maintain their workers’ comp benefits, the system can still be difficult to navigate, and failing to show labor market attachment, for those who are required to do so, can have serious consequences, including a suspension of monetary benefits.
Our firm has decades of experience guiding workers through the workers’ compensation process, and we have a track record of achieving favorable results for our clients. To discuss your workers’ comp case with a member of our team, contact our office today.
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