Is the workers’ compensation system being changed for the worse?
According to some, changes in workers’ compensation laws across the country are exposing workers to greater potential for injury and long-term disability.
FOUR WAYS STATES ARE LIMITING WORKERS’ COMP BENEFITS
- Placing caps on the length of time that workers can receive workers’ comp benefits. New York became an example of this in 2007 when they capped permanent disability benefits (which are no longer permanent).
- Restricting the types of injuries that workers’ comp covers, specifically excluding repetitive trauma injuries such as carpal tunnel or tennis elbow.
- Limiting the employee’s choice of doctor. For example, in Pennsylvania, if an employer has a list of designated physicians, employees must seek treatment from those physicians for the first 90 days after injury, otherwise they will not receive workers’ comp benefits. Legislation is in the works to extend this to six months.
- Classifying workers as independent contractors instead of employees. In doing this, employers are able to opt for “occupational accident policies” that provide much more limited benefits than workers’ comp.
HAS TENNESSEE WORKERS’ COMP LAW CHANGED?
Prior to July 1, workers had 30 days to notify their employer in writing that injuries occurred. Now, employees only have 15 days, drastically reducing the time they have available to get their affairs in order. Now, more than ever, if you suffer a work injury, it is imperative that you contact a workers’ comp attorney as soon as possible to begin the claims process.
Isaiah 11:9, “They shall not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.”