Mary Ellen O'Connor
Leading attorney for workers’ compensation and Social Security disability benefits claims in New York.

You may be able to receive a loss of use award.Diagnosed with a permanent partial disability due to a workplace accident or repetitive stress, and want to know what workers' comp benefits you may be entitled to collect as a result? New York State workers' compensation treats permanent partial disabilities differently depending on whether the disability in question involves a schedule or non-schedule loss of use. Here's what you need to know about permanent partial disabilities and how the highly-skilled New York workers' compensation attorneys with O'Connor Law PLLC can help ensure you receive the benefits you deserve.

Permanent Partial Disabilities 

This term refers to disabilities that are partial in character, but permanent in quality. If you were diagnosed with a permanent partial disability after reaching maximum medical improvement (MMI), it means that you have a permanent disability that only affects a specific part of the body, but forever limits your wage-earning capacity in a significant way. 

NYS workers' compensation provides benenfts for schedule and non-schedule loss of use injuries. How your disability is classified determines what benefits you'll receive and how long they'll continue.

Schedule Loss of Use Awards

A Schedule Loss of Use award, or SLU, is a cash benefit paid to workers who've experienced a loss of earning potential due to a permanent functional impairment of a body part sustained in an on-the-job accident. These cash benefits are awarded to employees who've permanently lost the use of an upper or lower extremity, or suffered vision or hearing loss. How long you can receive compensation depends on the body part and the severity of the disability. The maximum number of weeks you can collect benefits for various body parts is as follows:

  • Arm – 312 weeks
  • Leg – 288 weeks 
  • Hand – 244 weeks
  • Foot – 205 weeks
  • Eye – 160 weeks
  • Thumb – 75 weeks
  • First finger – 46 weeks
  • Second finger – 30 weeks
  • Third finger – 25 weeks
  • Fourth finger – 15 weeks
  • Big toe – 38 weeks
  • Other toe – 16 weeks

Your SLU award is calculated based on the above schedule, as well as the body part you injured, the percentage of loss of function of that body part (as determined by a judge), and your average weekly wage.

Non-Schedule Loss of Use Benefits

If your permanent partial disability isn't included in the schedule, you may be entitled to non-schedule loss of use benefits. Treated as wage loss, these benefits are based on your permanent loss of earning power. The maximum number of weeks you can collect benefits is as follows:

  • 525 weeks for loss of wage-earning capacity of greater than 95%
  • 500 weeks for loss of wage-earning capacity of greater than 90% thru 95%
  • 475 weeks for loss of wage-earning capacity of greater than 85% thru 90%
  • 450 weeks for loss of wage-earning capacity of greater than 80% thru 85%
  • 425 weeks for loss of wage-earning capacity of greater than 75% thru 80%
  • 400 weeks for loss of wage-earning capacity of greater than 70% thru 75%
  • 375 weeks for loss of wage-earning capacity of greater than 60% thru 70%
  • 350 weeks for loss of wage-earning capacity of greater than 50% thru 60%
  • 300 weeks for loss of wage-earning capacity of greater than 40% thru 50%
  • 275 weeks for loss of wage-earning capacity of greater than 30% thru 40%
  • 250 weeks for loss of wage-earning capacity of greater than 15% thru 30%
  • 225 weeks for loss of wage-earning capacity of 15% or less

We Can Help You Get the Benefits You Deserve for Your Permanent Partial Disability 

Some people think of workers' compensation claims as an automatic process that takes care of itself. Nothing could be further from the truth. 

Oftentimes, injured and disabled workers need an attorney to help them fight for fair benefits. This is particularly important in cases where the percentage of your loss of use will be used to make decisions. 

At O'Connor Law PLLC, our attorneys can build a strong case for maximum benefits. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation to find out how we can help you.