Workers Comp 101: Protracted Healing Period and Schedule Loss of Use

On behalf of The Law Offices of Joseph A. Romano, P.C. on Tuesday, October 3, 2017.
Thanks for reading our Workers Comp 101 series! Here we go through the basics of Workers Compensation law and give you the information you need for your case. If you're ever hurt at work be sure to read our workers comp 101 series and know your rights. 

What is a Scheduled Loss of Use?

A Schedule Loss of Use award (SLU) is an additional cash payment. It pays a claimant for an injury that leaves him or her with less mobility in a body part than he or she had before the injury. If the claimant does not get back the same level of use in the injured body part, because he or she now has a permanent disability, the claimant may be eligible for an SLU payment. This award is made after the claimant has reached MMI. The claimant is entitled to awards 6 months to a year from the date of accident or most recent surgery.

Download Our SLU Guide

Protracted  Healing  Period (PHP)

The concept of PHP only comes into play for SLU and serves to increase the value of awards. New York defines the "normal healing period" for scheduled injuries. In cases where that claimant remained totally disabled for a period of time in excess of the established healing period, the claimant is entitled to additional payments.

So, where the claimant remained totally disabled after the periods of time set forth by the Legislature, the carrier is exposed for additional compensation under the Law.

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Example:

If an injured worker made $200 per week and lost her thumb, according to the Scheduled Loss of Use chart, she would be entitled to 100% loss of the thumb- 75 weeks of compensation. This would be paid at a rate equivalent to 2/3rds (66.6%) of her AWW $133.34 per week

In this example, the loss of the thumb would give rise to an award of $10,000 for permanent disability.

However, what if the claimant actually lost more than 75 weeks from work? For example, if the claimant lost 90 weeks from work? In that case, the added weeks of lost time would be "Added" to the scheduled awards that exceed the "normal healing period." as set forth by the statute. In the case of the thumb, the "normal" healing period is set at 24 weeks (WCL Sect. 15(4-a)).So, instead of getting nothing as would be due under the Statute without the "protracted healing provision" this claimant actually be due the difference between the "normal healing period" for the thumb (24 weeks) and the actual lost time (90 weeks) or an 76 additional weeks of compensation: $10,133.84 in "new" money.

**This information is based on New York State. Each state may be different. This blog post is for informational purposes. Your specific circumstances may vary from the information provided. Every case is different. Prior results do not guarantee future outcomes. The contents contained in this post do not establish an attorney-client relationship. Please contact us before sending confidential or time-sensitive material**

Tags: schedule loss of use, workers comp 101

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