Workers Compensation Committee
Albany Update

December 5, 2008

Annual “Safety Net” Report

The Department of Labor has issued its first annual “safety net” report, on the success of workers' compensation claimants returning to work. These reports were required under the 2007 reform act. The report provides basic data on comp claims during 2007, but states there is not yet sufficient data to evaluate the state's “safety net” for claimants injured since March 13, 2007—the effective date of last year's reform package. The report also recommends a new DOL study of the long term return to work outcomes of claimants injured between January 2000 and July 2006 to provide a baseline for assessing the effect of the 2007 reform package in returning claimants to employment. The report is available here.

Occupational Health Clinics

This past legislative session, New York the legislature adopted several changes relating the state's occupational health clinic network program: expanded authority for the clinic's state oversight committee (the Administration is in the process of naming its members); required the CEO of each clinic to appoint an advisory committee with business, labor, public health and “community group” representations; and commits the state to increasing the funding level for clinics by $4 million in FY 2009 over this year's level. We would be interested in any input from Committee members on past experience with the clinics, any thoughts you have on future clinic activity, and any interest in participating on either a statewide or clinic specific advisory panel.