Bond, McDonald and Lehman, PC
 
Contact Us: 315-789-8480
 
91 Genesee St, Geneva, NY 14456
 
 

 
 
 
 
 

Frequently Asked Questions about Workers' Compensation:


WC FAQs

How do I file a claim?
You should notify your employer as soon as possible regarding your injury and complete any paperwork they provide you. Failure to notify your employer of the work-related injury within 30 days of the injury could result in denial of your workers' compensation claim. You should also file the Board's Employee Claim form, called a C-3, and submit it to the Workers' Compensation Board either by mail or online. If you have not already completed a C-3, we can assist you. Additionally, you should be sure to see your doctor and provide as much detail to him or her as possible regarding your work-related injury.
What do I do if my workers' compensation claim is denied?
Your case will be scheduled for a Pre-Hearing Conference in front of a Workers' Compensation Law Judge. You must be able to provide sufficient evidence to convince the Law Judge that your case should be established as a work-related injury. Your case will most likely be schedule for testimony of yourself and possibly your supervisor, manager, or other co-workers, as well as medical testimony from your doctors and the insurance carrier's Independent Medical Examiner, if you have been sent to one.
What is the difference between total and partial disability?
If your doctor indicates you have a 100% or temporary total disability, it means your doctor believed you are unable to return to work in any capacity. If your doctor believes you are unable to return to your normal job are capable of performing other job duties, it is not an opinion of a 100% disability.

If your doctor indicates you have anything less than a 100% disability, he or she believes you have a partial disability. This means you are capable of returning to work in some capacity. Typically, your doctor will provide you with restrictions for work. If the medical evidence indicates you have a partial disability, you are obligated to try to return to work within those restrictions in order to be eligible for workers' compensation awards. If you do not currently have a job, this means looking for new job within your restrictions, enrolling in school, or entering a training program to learn how to do a job that is within your restrictions.

The degree of disability indicated in the medical evidence determines the amount of your weekly workers' compensation awards while you are out of work. If you are not working but the medical evidence indicates a partial disability, you will be entitled to awards at a partial rate (assuming you are complying with the requirement to return to work).
What happens if I return to work?
The insurance carrier and/or employer must be notified immediately once you return to work, whether it is for the same employer or a different employer. Failure to do so can result in a finding that you have committed fraud, which can lead to a ban on workers' compensation benefits as well as criminal charges. Further, you can be found to have committed fraud if you engage in any work-like activity, regardless of whether you were actually paid.

If you return to work and are earning less as a result of your work-related injury, you may be entitled to reduced earning benefits. If you return to work at the same or higher wages than you earned at the time of your work-related injury, your workers' compensation awards may stop. However, you remain entitled to causally related medical treatment.

What if I try to return to work but am unable to perform my job duties?
You may be found ineligible for workers' compensation awards if you voluntarily stop working without medical evidence to support being out of work. If you have attempted to return to your job but find you are unable to perform those duties, you should first talk to your employer about accommodating your work restrictions, if you have any. You should see your doctor and explain the issues you are having with your job duties and be sure to follow your doctor's medical advice.
Does my employer have to hold my job for me while I am out of work?
This may depend on various factors including your employer's specific policies and the Family Medical Leave Act. This issue is beyond the scope of the New York State Workers' Compensation Law.
How often should I see my doctor?
You should see your treating physicians no less than every 90 days. Failure to do so could result in suspension of your awards.
What does it mean to have a permanent impairment?
Whether you have a permanent impairment depends on what type of work-related injury you have suffered. Typically, injuries to extremities (hand, shoulder, knee, foot, etc.) result in a schedule loss of use award. Injuries to the spine (neck, back) result in classification with a permanent partial or total disability. The level of permanent impairment is determined by the medical evidence. Your doctor will usually provide you with his or her opinion on your permanent impairment a year or so after your injury or any causally related surgery you have had. The insurance carrier may obtain their own opinion by sending you to an Independent Medical Exam.

Once you are found by the Law Judge to have a permanent impairment, it does not mean your case is settled. You will continue to remain entitled to causally related medical treatment and may continue to receive workers' compensation awards under some circumstances.

Can I collect unemployment and/or Social Security Disability Benefits when I am receiving awards from Workers' Comp?
You may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits or SSD benefits at the same time you are receiving workers' compensation awards. Our office can help you with the appeals process if you have applied for and been denied SSD.
How much are attorney fees?
In workers' compensation, your attorney is only awarded a fee if you are receiving monetary awards. You are entitled to a free initial consultation to review your claim with an attorney.

Attorney fees vary depending on the work involved in the case. Fees are paid directly to your attorney by the insurance company and out of awards owed to you in the case.