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    Markhoff & Mittman, P.C Discuss Potential Workers’ Compensation Reform

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    The attorneys at Markhoff & Mittman P.C. discuss the disadvantages to the reform proposed for Workers’ Compensation.

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    Workers’ compensation insurance has existed in the United States for over 100 years to ensure that employees hurt on the job are able to obtain compensation for their medical expenses and lost wages. Since the beginning, numerous reforms to the system have been made, some of which favor injured workers and some that don’t. In New York, Governor Cuomo has proposed the newest reform, which has the potential of seriously limiting the benefits workers’ compensation may provide.

    The attorneys at Markhoff & Mittman have announced that a petition, which will be delivered to the New York State House and New York State Senate, has been started which has already obtained more than 3000 signatures. The petition goes into detail about the issues that the reform could cause injured workers. The most concerning of these potential changes involve restrictions on a worker’s choice of medical professional, modifications to appeals, and an adjustment to the equation used to calculate how much may be received in compensation.

    Under the new reform, the Workers’ Compensation Board will have the ability to force doctors to sign an authorization agreement. If they do not sign, the Board may remove them from the workers’ compensation system. Additionally, employees may be forced to choose a doctor from a list their employer provides, instead of being treated by their own personal physician.

    Injured workers, especially those who work more than one job, will find that when it comes time to determine how much they can obtain in compensation for their lost wages, the amount they should have gotten has been reduced due to a new way of calculating the amount.

    Those who have had their workers’ compensation claims denied may also be shocked to learn that instead of an objective three-person panel, anyone who works for the Workers’ Compensation Board and has a law degree will now be able to determine the outcome of an appeal.

    These are just a few changes the reform will bring with it, and many are hoping that there will be enough backlash that the proposal will not be passed.

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