1. The Laws of New York
  2. Consolidated Laws
  3. Workers' Compensation
  4. Article 2: Compensation


Section 35 Safety net

Workers' Compensation (WKC)

1. Return to work. (a) The commissioner of labor will issue a report to the governor, the speaker of the assembly, the majority leader of the senate, and the chairs of the labor, ways and means and finance committees of the assembly and senate on or before December first, two thousand seven, making recommendations as to how to assure that workers categorized by the board as permanently partially disabled return to gainful employment to the greatest extent practicable. Such commissioner will consider administrative and legislative remedies, and shall include estimates of cost in the report. The report shall examine best practices and the laws of other jurisdictions, as well as any relevant programs authorized by New York law. The report shall additionally examine return to work practices as implemented by carriers, the state insurance fund, employers, and the board. It shall also examine the relationship of vocational rehabilitation to ultimate return to work.

  (b) The commissioner of labor will be assisted by an advisory council constituted of six persons appointed by the governor as follows:

  (i) a representative of organized labor appointed upon recommendation of the New York State American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations;

  (ii) a representative of the business community appointed upon recommendation of the Business Council of New York State, Incorporated;

  (iii) one person upon recommendation of the majority leader of the senate;

  (iv) one person upon recommendation of the speaker of the assembly; and

  (v) two other persons in the governor's discretion.

  2. Total industrial disability. No provision of this article shall in any way be read to derogate or impair current or future claimants' existing rights to apply at any time to obtain the status of total industrial disability under current case law.

  3. Extreme hardship redetermination. In cases where the loss of wage-earning capacity is greater than seventy-five percent, a claimant may request, within the year prior to the scheduled exhaustion of indemnity benefits under paragraph w of subdivision three of section fifteen of this article, that the board reclassify the claimant to permanent total disability or total industrial disability due to factors reflecting extreme hardship.

  4. Annual safety net reporting. The board, in conjunction with the commissioner of labor and the superintendent of financial services, shall track all claimants who have been awarded permanent partial disability status and report annually on December first, beginning in two thousand eight, to the governor, the speaker of the assembly, the majority leader of the senate, and the chairs of the labor, ways and means and finance committees of the assembly and senate:

  (i) The number of said claimants who have:

  (1) returned to gainful employment;

  (2) been recategorized as being totally industrially disabled;

  (3) remain subject to duration limitations set forth in paragraph w of subdivision three of section fifteen of this article; and

  (4) not returned to work, and whose indemnity payments have expired.

  (ii) The additional steps the commissioner contemplates are necessary to minimize the number of workers who have neither returned to work nor been recategorized from permanent partial disability.