When a worker in Schenectady is injured on the job, suffers an issue due to repetitive stress, or has a condition that came about because of the type of work he or she was doing, there is the option of seeking workers’ compensation benefits. Understanding this process is an imperative part of receiving benefits and the basics are often key. One of those basics is knowing the difference between schedule loss of use (SLU) and non-schedule loss of use.

If a worker has lost use of an upper extremity or lower extremity – the shoulder, arm, hand, wrist, finger, hip, knee, ankle, leg, foot or toe – as well as hearing or eyesight, then this will be an SLU. There are a certain number of weeks for which the worker can receive benefits and it hinges on the part of the body and the disability.

With non-schedule loss, it is a permanent disability that is not covered by SLU. This can include injuries to the brain, spine, lungs, pelvis and other body parts. It is based on the loss of earning capacity for the worker. If it occurred prior to March 13, 2007, then the benefits will be payable for the duration of the partial disability. There are limits and percentages of lost income depending on the number of weeks for injuries that occurred after March 13, 2007. For workers who suffered a disfigurement, there could be a payment of up to $20,000 depending on when the accident occurred. This is for serious and permanent disfigurement that was done to the face, head or neck.

Given the different issues that often arise after a worker has suffered an injury, illness or condition due to the type of work he or she was doing, knowing the difference between schedule and non-schedule loss of use is an integral part of workers’ compensation claims. For any question or issue related to workers’ compensation, the worker and his or her family should make certain to discuss the matter with an experienced attorney as soon as possible.

Source: wbc.ny.gov, “Workers’ Compensation — Disability Classifications,” accessed on March 16, 2017