Injured workers must be protected

Mar 25, 2016

José Valerio was earning a decent wage in New York City working as a welder for 10 years before an accident in 2014 left him with severe third-degree burns to his hand. The injury later developed into Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), causing constant severe pain. The father of four is still under a doctor’s care, relying on workers’ compensation benefits as he looks for ways to get back into the job market.

Today, while José struggles to recover, there are efforts underway to change the workers’ compensation system in ways that would not only create additional barriers for workers like him, but make it even less likely for injured workers to maintain a decent standard of living.

Changes being touted by the business community would cut benefits and limit access to care.

Other proposals would change how benefits are calculated at the expense of injured workers. For some injured workers, the change could result in a reduction of benefits by nearly 10 percent. Another proposed change would eliminate deposits to a trust meant to ensure injured workers are paid. Yet another would reduce oversight and transparency at the Workers’ Compensation Board. Combined, all of these changes would jeopardize the ability of the system to provide adequate benefits for injured workers.

Read the full article here.


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