For many years there has been an ongoing dispute regarding how frequently an injured worker must produce evidence of ongoing disability in order to collect lost wage benefits. Clearly, the Workers’ Compensation Law requires periodic medical examinations to certify ongoing disability for claimants who have not yet been classified with a permanent disability.
Having practiced Workers’ Compensation Law for 18 years I have seen many Judges apply a “45 day” rule. I believe that in the Albany hearing district this rule is the most prevalent. Basically it means that an injured worker, attempting to collect lost wage payments, must be evaluated at least once every 45 days so long as they remain disabled. The medical report generated from those exams must specifically document a causally related disability status or degree of disability.
In the past, I have dealt with Judges who enforce a “30 day” rule. This requires more frequent visits with a physician in order to certify disability status.
The irony is that there is no clear-cut definitive legal authority which indicated exactly how frequently a disabled patient must treat.
Better safe than sorry, we recommend that you treat once every 30 days so as to insure updated medical evidence and on going lost wage payments.
If you have questions regarding your Workers’ Compensation benefits or you are not sure whether or not you are entitled to a benefit, feel free to contact us for free consultation.