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New York Workers’ Compensation Board revises Medical Treatment Guidelines effective March 1, 2013

The New York Workers’ Compensation Board has implemented changes to the 2010 Medical Treatment Guidelines as of March 1, 2013.  There is now a provision that will allow for 10 annual sessions of “maintenance care” for claimants who have reached maximum medical improvement. For our clients who have been classified with a permanent partial or permanent total disability, this is a significant new development. Claimants with permanent injuries will be entitled to 10 sessions of physical therapy, chiropractic care or other forms of “maintenance care”. The revision does not permit 10 sessions of each type of maintenance care; it allows for a combination of the different types of maintenance care not to exceed a total of 10 sessions. This is a much-welcomed relaxation of the original Guidelines and a tacit recognition that claimants with permanent injuries can benefit from ongoing care.

Another massive change to the Medical Treatment Guidelines includes a whole new set of Guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome. Interestingly, the carpal tunnel Guidelines also include a description of factors to be considered by healthcare practitioners in formulating an opinion on whether the carpal tunnel is related to the claimant’s work activities. The existing Guidelines have no such factors to consider for the other bodily sites that were included in the original 2010 Guidelines, including the neck, back shoulders and knees.

If you have suffered a partial or permanent disability from a fall, slip or other work-related accident, you may also be able to receive personal injury compensation, above and beyond any Worker’s Comp claim.

The State of New York requires all employers, or their insurance company, to compensate you, or your family, if you are injured or killed while working. If you are injured at work you may be entitled to weekly benefit checks to replace some or all of your wages and payment of your medical expenses. Regardless of your situation, there are deadlines and other forms that must be filed in a timely fashion. For this and other reasons it is advisable to seek the help of a qualified Worker’s Compensation lawyer.