“Return to Work” (RTW) will achieve unprecedented attention in the coming year, largely due to a series of recent decisions and an upcoming argument in the state’s highest court, the Court of Appeals. The issue will be defining better the standards for “voluntary withdrawal” from the labor force. Such withdrawals can result in halting of future payments.
One of our readers, Tom Gassaway of Arthur J. Gallagher, found this article of particular interest and offered this example.
I received your newsletter this morning and found one article that I felt was long overdue. The article was “The Spouse Might Be the most Important Partner in NY Workers Comp.” I spent 17 years working at Liberty Mutual and remember hearing this mentioned, for the very severe cases, as far back as 1978. I was told they need to be involved in the psychological and emotional recovery from an accident, no matter in what state the accident occurred. I even saw it used for a claim involving one of my insureds.
The claim involved a worker who lost both hands in a punch press accident. He was due to be married within a few months of the accident and the obvious questions arose:
Would the wedding even take place?
Would the future spouse still want him?
Would the future spouse be able to assist with all of his needs?
What about income and medical bills?
Liberty immediately got him to their rehabilitation center in Boston and started to work on this whole process. Somewhere along the way the fiancé was asked to take part. The good news was she was agreeable and it went well. She was there through the fitting of the “hooks” for hands and other key milestones. The good news was they were able to be married on time and the they returned to Boston after the wedding to finish the rehabilitation. Overall, it was a good outcome and I heard later they even had two children.
Thanks for the article.