Loss of Use – Workers’ Compensation
If you have suffered an injury that involved permanent loss of use of a part of your body, you could potentially be eligible to receive additional payments from workers’ compensation. Those who have suffered permanent injuries to hands, feet, legs, toes, or other extremities, can potentially be given a Scheduled Loss of Use Award. Those who have suffered on-the-job injuries involving the torso, back, head, or neck, have what are considered “classified” injuries. This post will discuss Scheduled Loss of Use awards.
The Scheduled Loss of Use award (SLU) is a cash payment over and above your regular benefits. You get paid in order to compensate for the loss of use from an injury that has taken away some of your abilities. Even if you didn’t take time off of work, or if you have already returned to work, you can still potentially be eligible.
Body parts that are eligible for an SLU award include everything from an arm, to a toe, to a finger, to vision loss, facial scars, nerve damage, tears, fractures, and more.
The process by which an SLU award is determined is complicated, and it is helpful for you to understand in advance of going through this process, to know what the workers’ comp board looks for; and how exactly they determine an award.
Essentially, a doctor determines the percentage of function that you have lost from your injury. This determination comes after the doctor has determined that you have reached a plateau in your recovery, or reached what is called maximum medical improvement (MMI). In other words, they don’t believe that your condition will be getting any better.
If say, a person has lost his leg to amputation, then the SLU award will be based on 100 percent loss of use. However, if the leg was broken, and now just doesn’t have the stamina or strength it used to have(you cannot, say, lift heavy loads or walk or stand on your feet for any length of time), the doctor will determine how much use you have lost; and how much ability you do have remaining in your leg.
Then, you essentially use the SLU chart to determine how many weeks you can collect benefits. It is calculated by a formula:
- The (average weekly wage divided by two/thirds), which is then multiplied by the (maximum number of weeks allowed multiplied by the percentage of loss of use)
As you can see, it is important to understand the formula that is used to calculate your SLU award. The process is complicated, and it can be extremely beneficial to discuss your situation with an experienced workers compensation attorney. You may visit our website for more information.
Loss of Use Questions? Contact New Jersey Workers Compensation and Rehab Attorney
The central New Jersey law office of Harold J. Gerr, Attorney at Law represents clients involved who have been injured on the job in workers compensation matters, including protecting the rights of those who are navigating loss of use award issues, and vocational rehabilitation matters.
We also protect the rights of those who have been injured or lost loved ones in personal injury and wrongful death accidents, including work accidents. We have been fighting for the rights of the injured for three decades.
Our workers comp and personal injury law firm carefully selects the cases we handle, so that we can provide the highest levels of service and personal attention to each client. Contact us online or call our office at 732-537-8570 (toll-free at 1-877-249-4600).