2017-18 NYS Budget: Workers’ Compensation Reforms

Last week, the Governor signed the 2017-18 NYS Budget that included line items impacting the Workers’ Compensation system in NYS. Although it is still early in the process we’re providing below our assessment of the impact implementing the

Positive Outcomes for Employers and Carriers:

  • Temporary disability benefits are limited to 2.5 years, after which payments of TDB are credited to permanency.
  • Simplifying the Drug Formulary: The bill requires the creation of a simple formulary, listing the medications which can be dispensed and are pre-approved. The MTGs already list drugs – this may be a simplification of the review of medications prescribed.
  • Changes to the Disability Duration Guidelines & Scheduled Loss of Use findings: The guidelines are used to determine the nature and extent of permanent residual disability in New York. The procedures for determining Schedule Loss of Use injuries will be reevaluated.

Negative Outcomes for Employers:

  • Permanent partially disabled claimants will no longer have to establish that they have not “voluntarily removed” themselves from the workforce to remain eligible for ongoing partial disability benefits.
  • Lowering the “safety net” from 80% partial disability to 75% disabled in order to qualify for extended permanent disability benefits when the initial allocation expires.

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