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For Release — June 3, 2013

Business Council Commends New Workers' Compensation Guidelines on Permanent Partial Disability

ALBANY— The Business Council of New York State, Inc. released a letter addressed to the New York State Workers' Compensation Board commending its actions in providing new guidelines that will expedite of the classification of permanent partial disability (PPD) cases. The measures, based on expected achievement of maximum medical improvements by claimants, are a crucial step in implementing duration limits that were previously set forth in 2007 reform legislation. The text of the letter is below: 

May 30, 2013

Jeffrey Fenster, Esq. Executive Director
328 State Street
Schenectady, NY 12305-2318

Dear Mr. Fenster:

On behalf of our members, I would like to express our appreciation and support of the Board's recent actions to promote the timely classification of non-scheduled permanent partial disabilities. These improvements will help ensure that injured workers with permanent partial disabilities are timely and appropriately classified and that loss of wage earning capacity is determined consistently according to the recent guidelines. It will also help achieve the full cost savings envisioned in the 2007 reform legislation.

The Business Council has consistently raised concerns that the durational caps on non- scheduled PPDs have created an incentive for claimants to delay classification, because they receive temporary benefits in the interim. The effect is to significantly erode anticipated savings from durational caps, resulting is significant comp cost increases for New York's employers.

By creating specialized parts in each district to handle the classification of PPD claims, directing parties to obtain medical evidence on permanency, using proper forms and documentation within reasonable timeframes (at the risk of a waiver of the ability to present medical evidence and/or the imposition of penalties) and affirming that injured workers generally reach maximum medical improvement in under two years, the Board has taken decisive action that we hope will lead to quicker classification and fair adjudication for all parties.

The Business Council appreciates this initiative to control comp system costs, and we look forward to working with the Board and the Cuomo Administration on additional system improvements. We are committed to assisting you in your continued efforts to assure payment of all valid comp claims, while reducing waste, fraud, abuse and other costs in the workers' comp system.

Sincerely,

Heather Briccetti
President and CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc.