September 27, 2019
Reopening of Cases
In most Workers’ Compensation claims that are not settled by way of Section 32 agreements which close out medical treatment, even though your case may have been marked “no further action” by the Board and it goes dormant for some time, you still have the right to reopen your claim in the future and/or obtain causally related medical treatment.
There are newly proposed amendments to the Workers’ Compensation Regulations which could change this right for injured workers. In the simplest of terms, these changes to the law would make it very difficult for claimants to reopen their “closed” cases to obtain medical treatment or lost wage benefits.
The Board is proposing the need for a coversheet to accompany a request for reopening and its absence is a reason to deny reopening. Additionally, the amendments would call for a 30-day time limit to file an application for reopening after new evidence of a change in condition is discovered. Along with proof of a change or worsening in condition, for example the need for additional surgery in the future, the Board would require a special affidavit be completed by the doctor in order for an injured worker to obtain benefits. The most alarming proposed amendment to the Law seems to indicate that the Board would NEVER reopen a classified or PPD claim after the cap on benefits has been exhausted.
The Board is currently accepting comments regarding these proposed amendments and we urge everyone to make your voice heard on the issue. Let the Workers’ Compensation Board know that you do not want any of your rights under the Workers’ Compensation Law to be taken away or diminished. You can send a short note to the Chair of the Workers’ Compensation Board by way of an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or regular mail at the address below. We have also included suggested language which you may feel free to use. The comment period ends on 11/15/19.
If you have any questions about this issue, feel free to contact the attorneys at Zea Proukou to discuss.
The Honorable Clarissa M. Rodriguez, Chair
New York State Workers’ Compensation Board
328 State Street
Schenecatady, New York 12305-2318
I AM AN INJURED WORKER AND I OBJECT TO THE PROPOSED CHANGES THAT WILL HINDER MY RIGHT TO REOPEN MY WORKERS’ COMPENSATION CLAIM.
I OPPOSE ANY AMENDMENTS TO 12 NYCRR 300.13 AND 300.14 THAT WOULD PLACE A LIMIT ON TIME FOR RE-OPENING MY CASE TO ADDRESS MY RIGHT TO MEDICAL TREATMENT OR LOST WAGES FOR THE WORK-RELATED INJURIES I SUSTAINED.
I OPPOSE ANY AMENDMENTS TO 12 NYCRR 300.13 and 300.14 THAT DENY MY DUE PROCESS RIGHTS AND MAKE IT HARDER FOR ME TO GET THE BENEFITS I AM ENTITLED TO UNDER THE LAW.
I AM AN INJURED WORKER AND MY VOICE WILL BE HEARD!
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