Today we continue discussing workers’ compensation injuries and procedures. While no one plans to get hurt on the job, there are some things you need to know if you find yourself dealing with the workers’ compensation system. If you are unfortunate enough to find yourself injured on the job you may be scheduled for a hearing or more likely receive an administrative decision regarding your claim. Many people who find themselves attending a hearing or in receipt of a decision are often times confused by the terminology. As a practitioner of workers’ compensation I can tell you that there are a lot of terms of art, abbreviations and the like that we use on a regular basis during the course of a claim.
One of the most common abbreviations we use is ANCR or ODNCR. For example, if you have an injury to your back you might receive a decision indicating ANCR back. Without ANCR or ODNCR, you cannot have a successful claim for workers’ compensation benefits. But what does it mean? ANCR stands for accident, notice and causal relationship. ODNCR stands for occupational disease, notice and causal relationship. Here I will discuss each of the components.
An ACCIDENT or OCCUPATIONAL DISEASE is one arising out of and in the course of the employment. Just because you get injured or sick on the job does not definitively mean you are entitled to file a claim. For example, if an employee gets assaulted on the job by a jealous spouse because of a domestic dispute, the injuries sustained would not be compensable as there is no work connection. If you are injured solely as a result of intoxication from alcohol or drugs while working, you would not be able to obtain workers’ compensation benefits. Similarly in occupational claims not only do you have to show that it occurred in the course of employment but that it must flow naturally from the work involved.
The second component is NOTICE specifically notice to your employer that you were hurt on the job. The law prescribes that notice be given to the employer within 30 days of the accident and should be in writing although oral notice may be accepted. While many jobs have their own internal notice requirements, the law in New York State is 30 days. Notice is different than filing with New York State. The Statute of Limitations to file a claim with the New York State Workers’ Compensation board is 2 years. You may file within the 2 year statute but still lose your claim if you didn’t file proper notice with your employer within 30 days.
Lastly, there must be CAUSAL RELATIONSHIP, between the job and the injury sustained. Is the injury you are suffering from as a result of the accident which occurred on the job. In order to prove this you must have a medical report from a qualified medical provider. The doctor should be a licensed to practice under the workers’ compensation and familiar with the system which includes the requisites necessary in order to file a proper report. If you are able to confirm these components, your case may be accepted or established. It is imperative that these steps are followed as it is possible that a very serious injury may sustained but never established because it fails to follow what has been directed.
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Today’s post comes from guest author Brianne Rohner from Rehm, Bennett & Moore.
Every profession has certain turns of phrase or acronyms they use on a daily basis that, to the layperson, mean very little and may only serve to add confusion to an already difficult issue. The legal profession and the representation of injured workers is no different. Injured workers often find themselves traveling down a confusing road armed only with directions written in an unfamiliar or foreign-sounding language. The experienced attorneys at our firm navigate clients down this road on a daily basis.
Below is a list of commonly used acronyms to assist in understanding what is happening with your workers’ compensation case when everyone around you is suddenly speaking another language. Please keep in mind that the accompanying definitions are very general, and you should seek the advice of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney for more information or assistance with your case. Please also see the links for other blog posts for more information on some of these issues.
TPD stands for Temporary Partial Disability. TPD benefits are paid at a rate of 2/3 of the difference between your earning power before your injury and your earning power after. A typical example of a situation involving TPD is when your doctor restricts the number of hours you may work per day or per week. Another common example is payment for missed time while undergoing physical therapy or medical treatment.
PTD stands for Permanent Total Disability. PTD benefits are paid at a rate of 2/3 of your average weekly wage or wages for a minimum 40-hour week (this may depend on how you are paid), whichever is higher, for as long as you remain disabled. Generally, PTD is paid when, because of an injury, you cannot earn wages in the same kind or similar work for which you have been trained or are accustomed to performing, or any other kind of work that a person of your mentality and attainments could do. This previous blog post adds details to how PTD works: http://workerscompensationwatch.com/2013/02/average-weekly-wage-decides-workers-comp-benefits/
PPD stands for Permanent Partial Disability. PPD benefits are paid at a rate of 2/3 of your average weekly wage or wages for a minimum 40-hour week (this may depend on how you are paid), whichever is higher. PPD is either paid to compensate you for a loss of earning capacity (see definition below) or for a percentage of impairment sustained to a particular body part, which is usually assigned by your doctor. This previous blog post adds details to how PPD works: http://workerscompensationwatch.com/2012/01/four-things-you-should-know-about-carpal-tunnel-syndrome/
MMI stands for Maximum Medical Improvement. MMI is generally the point at which your injury will not get any better or worse, and your condition is essentially fixed. Typically, your doctor determines when this point is reached. This is also the point where temporary benefits end and permanent benefits begin.