1. PAYMENT OF YOUR SCHEDULE LOSS OF USE AWARD [“SLU”] MUST BE POSTMARKED NOT MORE THAN 10 DAYS AFTER THE DECISION IS “FILED.” When you get the written decision from the hearing, you will learn the date it was filed (see the bottom right of the first page). Keep the envelope that contains the payment to you. If it was postmarked more than 10 days after the date the decision was filed, you are entitled to a 20% penalty.
2. YOU DID NOT GIVE UP FUTURE RIGHTS. Receiving a SLU award—even if we compromised on the amount–does NOT mean that you “settled” your case and gave up future rights. Be sure to notify us if there is a significant change in your medical condition related to the body parts hurt in your case.
3. YOU CAN RECEIVE MEDICAL TREATMENT IF YOU NEED IT. You are entitled to medical treatment for your injury for the rest of your life IF it is consistent with the Medical Treatment Guidelines AND you did not suffer a new injury to the same body part(s). The carrier can object to such treatment; we can have the Judge decide any disputes. DO NOT go for treatment if you do not need it. Submit all requests for mileage and transportation reimbursement for medical treatment directly to the carrier. We do not need to be involved with this going forward.
4. IF YOUR CONDITION WORSENS, YOU MAY BE ENTITLED TO A GREATER SLU AWARD. Be sure to go back to your doctor for treatment if your condition worsens. When you are medically stable again, you may be entitled to a greater SLU award.
5. WATCH OUT FOR THE 18 & 8 RULE. YOU WILL NOT BE ENTITLED TO A GREATER SLU AWARD IF IT IS MORE THAN 18 YEARS AFTER THE DATE YOU WERE INJURED AND MORE THAN 8 YEARS FROM WHEN YOU RECEIVED THE SLU AWARD.
6. IF YOU STOP WORKING ON ACCOUNT OF THE SAME INJURY AFTER YOU RECEIVE THE SLU AWARD, THE WORKERS’ COMPENSATION CARRIER MAY NOT HAVE TO PAY YOU WEEKLY LOST INCOME BENEFITS. This is called the carrier’s “credit” and we can explain that to you if/when the situation arises.
7. IF YOUR SCHEDULE LOSS OF USE PERCENTAGE IS 50% OR GREATER AND YOU HAVE NOT REACHED YOUR FULL RETIREMENT AGE YET, YOU MAY BE ENTITLED TO REINSTATEMENT OF A PORTION OF YOUR WEEKLY BENEFITS ONCE THE TERM OF THE LOSS OF USE AWARD HAS EXPIRED. To be eligible for this reinstatement of benefits you MUST seek retraining with a Board accredited school or retraining/rehabilitation program and look for work within your restrictions as soon as you are able AND there must be medical evidence you are still disabled SOLELY due to this injury. If you are unable to find employment despite your retraining and a VERY thorough job search and the SOLE reason is due to this work related injury than you MAY be eligible for reinstatement of a portion of your weekly benefits. This standard is very difficult to meet.