If I Have A Workers’ Compensation Claim, Can I Find a New Job?


By Jason Weinstock on August 7, 2020
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A lot of clients have this question. Frustration often sets in immediately after the injury, but can be made worse if the injured employee feels she is not being treated fairly at work, is not receiving TTD (pay for being out of work) benefits, receiving TTD benefits, or their employer is not following their work restriction. Many times I have heard from clients that their employer/ co-workers are harassing them about being injured, that they cannot survive on 66 and 2/3% of what they were making, or that their employer is requiring them to work beyond the restrictions given by their doctor. These problems led to the question, “can I find a new job?”

In short, my answer is usually “yes.” However, I always have to warn my clients that looking for a new job requires an understanding of three very important things: 1) if you quit your job, you are no longer entitled to TTD benefits; 2) your new job must fall within your work restrictions; and 3) you need to let the workers’ compensation insurance company know about the new job.

No longer eligible for TTD benefits?!

An injured employee is entitled to TTD benefits when their employer either has no light duty work, that complies with the doctor’s work restrictions, or when the injured employee is taken off work completely for a period of time by the doctor. TTD benefits are paid at 66 and 2/3% of the injured worker’s average monthly wage. The benefits continue to be paid until either the doctor releases the injured worker to work “full duty” or until the employer offers a light duty job position that complies with the doctor’s work restrictions.
If an injured employee voluntarily takes themselves out of the work force by either quitting or going on FMLA leave, the workers’ compensation insurance adjuster can stop TTD benefits.

My new job has to know I was injured at work?!

Yes. If an injured worker gets a new job, while they have work restrictions from a workplace injury at another job, the injured worker cannot work outside of those work restrictions for a new employer. An injured worker must notify the new employer of any work restrictions they may have to be sure the new job will not exceed them. Working outside your work restrictions can negatively impact a workers’ compensation claim in the following ways: 1) give an adjuster reasons to deny further treatment, 2) give an adjuster a reason to issue claim closure, and 3) give an adjuster a reason to pursue a claim for workers’ compensation insurance fraud with the Attorney General’s office.

I need to tell my adjuster about the new job?!

Yes. The workers’ compensation insurance company needs to know about the new job for two reasons, 1) so that they can stop TTD benefits, and 2) so they can confirm you are working within your work restrictions. An injured worker cannot both collect TTD benefits and work a new job, doing so may cause an adjuster to file a claim for fraud.

An example of when an injured worker can look for/ take a new job is:

A construction worker gets hurt at work and is placed on restrictions by a doctor making him no longer able to perform his typical work duties. The injured construction worker shows his work restrictions to his employer, who then says he has no light duty work. (The injured construction worker then is eligible for TTD benefits.) The injured construction worker finds an add for a call center that pays more than his TTD benefits do. The injured construction worker interviews with the call center and informs them that he is only allowed light duty work and cannot lift more than 10lbs. The call center says that is fine. The injured construction worker then quits with the construction company and starts working for the call center. The injured “former” construction work then calls and notifies his workers’ compensation insurance adjuster that he is working a new job that falls within his work restrictions.

Give me a call or send an email for a free consultation if you have questions or concerns about your Nevada workers’ compensation claim or about finding a new job while receiving workers’ compensation benefits.

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Nevada Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Injuries After July 1, 2020 (FY 2021).


By Jason Weinstock on July 10, 2020
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For Fiscal Year 2021, which began on July 1, 2020, the maximum average monthly wage used to calculate workers’ compensation benefits has increased to $6,275.73. This is applicable to injuries on claims filed after July 1, 2020. If you have a claim established already, this increase will not affect your benefits. The maximum temporary total disability benefit in Nevada is 66 2/3 of the maximum average monthly wage. That means that if the injured worker is off work due to the injury for a month, or her employer does not have light duty work within the doctor’s restrictions, she will receive $4,183.82 in compensation benefits that month. The usual 14-day payment will be $1,924.16. Each day in the pay period is counted, including Saturdays and Sundays, when calculating compensation benefits. The daily rate under the new maximum average monthly wage is $137.44

View: Average Monthly Wage for Fiscal Year 2021 Increases!

The average monthly wage used to calculate off-work benefits is also an important factor in determining how much money an injured worker will received if she has a permanent impairment, as defined by the criteria in the AMA Guides to Evaluation of Permanent Impairment. If the adjuster sends you a letter with your average monthly wage, and it seems too low, do not neglect to do something about it, even if you are not losing time from work. You could lose a significant amount of money by not making sure that the average monthly wage is as high as it should be when it is time to calculate a PPD award.

The average monthly wage at the time of the injury also controls the amount of compensation benefits if the claim is ever reopened in the future. Your original injury may have occurred ten years ago when you were making a lot more money, and you will want that average monthly wage to be used. If you need to reopen your claim now and will be out of work again for another surgery, your benefits will be based on what your income was 10 years ago.

Remember there are two ways to calculate average monthly wage: 1) 84 days wage history, and 2) an one-year’s wage history. The insurance company must use which ever is higher, when establishing your average monthly wage for workers’ compensation benefits. It does not cost anything to check with a reputable attorney about whether your compensation benefits are calculated correctly and whether you should be proceeding on a reopened claim as opposed to a new claim.

Give me a call or send an email for a free consultation if you have questions or concerns about your Nevada workers’ compensation claim or average monthly wage and how it effects your settlement.

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New Treating Panel of Workers’ Compensation Doctors is Now Posted!


By Jason Weinstock on July 3, 2020
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In a previous blog post I talked about SB 381, which was passed in the 2019 legislative session. SB 381 created some much-needed changes and added regulation in how the Division of Industrial Relations (DIR) compiles their treating provider list. Prior to SB 381 the DIR’s treating provider list had over 4,000 providers, 50% of which were either not practicing anymore, not seeing workers’ compensation patients anymore, or were deceased. SB 381 required the DIR to have doctors complete a new application and then develop a new master list for insurance companies to use in creating their lists. July 1st has arrived, and the new treating panel of workers’ compensation doctors is now posted! Click here to see the new DIR Treating Panel of Providers and Chiropractors list.

 

What does this mean for workers’ compensation insurance companies?

The race is on! Workers’ compensation insurance companies now have until October 1, 2020, to complete their provider lists using the doctors on the DIR’s list. SB 381 also requires insurance companies to have at least 12 providers/doctors per specialty. The specialties include orthopedic surgery (which has 9 subcategories all of which must have 12 providers/doctors), neurosurgery, neurology, cardiology, pulmonology, psychiatry, pain management, occupational medicine, general practice, and chiropractic. All other specialties/disciplines must contain at least 8 provider/doctors unless the DIR’s list contains less than 8.

This is a huge change for insurance companies that for years were getting away with only having 2 or 3 doctors in each specialty. Once the insurance companies make their list, which must be complete by October 1, 2020, they must then send their lists to the DIR. The DIR will then publish these lists on their website for all to see. These lists will lock the providers/doctors “in,” as insurance companies will no longer be able to remove doctors without one of six reasons laid out in SB 381. The days of insurance companies removing doctors overnight because they did not like what the doctor was saying are over!

What does this mean for injured workers?

More doctors, more choice! Injured workers will have more doctors to choose from within the first 90 days of the claim. Injured workers will be able to go online and see exactly who is on their insurance company’s provider list. NRS 616C.090 gives injured workers the right to choose their doctor for a transfer of care within the first 90 days of their claim, and now they will have at least 12 doctors to choose from for most specialties.

Is the new treating doctor list perfect?

No. There are still excellent doctors that did not make the list and efforts are underway to try to get them added. I expect the DIR’s list will change over the next few weeks as more doctors are added. There are still a lot of the same names and doctors that I am not a huge fan of, but this is a great first step. I am excited for the future and I believe injured workers should be too!

Give me a call or send an email for a free consultation if you have questions or concerns about your Nevada workers’ compensation claim or workers’ compensation doctors.

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New 2020 Actuarial Tables Released On June 23, 2020, Go Into Effect On July 1, 2020.


By Jason Weinstock on June 26, 2020
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In 2015 Attorney Virginia Hunt, along with a group of other claimant’s attorneys, determined that the Division of Industrial Relations (DIR) had been slacking on their statutory duties to update the actuarial annuity table used in the calculation of permanent partial disability (PPD) awards. It was determined that the actuary table being used had not been updated for something like over 15 years. This led to claimant’s getting much less than they deserved. After Ms. Hunt passed other attorneys continued the fight and the DIR has been updating their tables ever since. The new 2020 actuarial tables released on June 23, 2020, go into effect on July 1, 2020.

What does this mean for injured workers?

PPD awards should increase! With the interest rate dropping from 2.98% in 2019 to 1.46% in 2020, injured workers will see an increase in their awards. These actuarial tables are used in combination with an injured worker’s average monthly wage, age, and percentage of impairment to calculate the PPD award.

It is necessary to have the actuarial tables and the correct statutory formula to correctly calculate the award. (See DIR forms 9a and 9b).   Injured workers with the same percentages of impairment for the exact same injury will receive different PPD awards depending on how much money they were making at the time of their accidents, and how old they are.

The PPD award needs be calculated at the time it is accepted. Meaning if you received your award offer letter on June 26, 2020, but do not accept it until July 5, 2020, then the insurer will need to recalculate the award using the July 1, 2020, actuarial tables. The day the award is accepted does not matter; it is the month in which it is accepted that is important.

The new actuarial annuity table can be found here.

An injured worker may accept a PPD award in a lump sum or may elect to receive the award in installments until she is 70 years old.  Awards taken in a lump sum are reduced to present value. If the injured worker’s impairment was greater than 30%, only the equivalent of a 30% PPD can be taken in a lump sum.  The percentage over 30% is paid in installments.

Although the PPD percentage is not based on an injured worker’s ability to return to work, the percentage does govern the length of a retraining program that can be offered if the injured worker is entitled to vocational rehabilitation services.  (See this blog on vocational rehabilitation for more information.)

Please note that this is only a summary of how permanent partial disability awards are determined in Nevada.  Pertinent statutes and regulations are:  NRS 616C.100, NRS 616C.490, NRS 616C.495, NRS 616C.110, NAC 616C.1162, NAC 616C.103.  Many attorneys offer a free review of a PPD rating report for signs of obvious errors.

Give me a call or send an email for a free consultation if you have questions or concerns about your Nevada workers’ compensation claim or PPD award.

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Workers’ Compensation COVID-19 Update (6/5/2020):


By Jason Weinstock on June 5, 2020
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On June 4, 2020, the Senior Appeals Officer at the Nevada Department of Administration, Appeals Division, released a statement regarding the Department of Administration’s plan to reopen. June 4, 2020, also marked the start of casino reopening, a major step in the economic recovery for Nevada. The Senior Appeals Office is putting in place a 5-phase plan to reopen the Department of Administration, that puts safety of their employees, attorneys, and injured workers to the forefront. Below is a recap of the workers’ compensation COVID-19 update issued by the Senior Appeals Officer.

Phase 1 (The Department of Administration is currently in this phase.)

    • No in-person hearings or appeals.
      • Only telephonic hearings and appeals.
    • All documents must be submitted/filed via USPS.
    • Requests for hearings before the Hearing/Appeals Officers may be filed by email at hearingsandappeals@admin.nv.gov.
    • Department of Administration staff are taking extreme precautions to sanitize equipment and continue to maintain following social distancing guidelines.

Phase 2 (Estimated effective date 6/22/2020.)

    • Documents can be filed at the Victims of Crime office (Suite 210-A) inside the Department of Administration (2200 S. Rancho Dr., Las Vegas, NV 89102).
      • All persons entering the building are required to wear a mask and may be subject to infrared thermometer checks.
    • All hearings before the Hearing Officers will continue to be done telephonically.
    • All hearings before the Appeals Officers will continue to be done telephonically, unless a request to hold a video conference hearing is granted.
      • Currently, only one courtroom has the capability to conduct video hearings.

Phase 3 (Estimated effective date is 30-45 days after Phase 2.)

    • In-person hearings will be available by request only, for hearings before the Appeals Officers.
      • This is contingent upon successful installation of protective Plexiglass barriers at the lobby of the front counter.
      • Only 2 courtrooms will be open for in-person hearings and participants are to wait in their cars or parking lot until called by the appeals officer.

Phase 4 (Estimated effective date is 30-45 days after Phase 3.)

    • Documents and requests for hearings can return to being filled at both the Hearings and Appeals office front counters.
      • Contingent on Plexiglass being installed at both front counters.
    • In-person hearings before the Hearing Officers will be available by request only.
      • Only 2 hearing rooms will be available in both the morning and afternoon.
      • Participants are to wait in their cars or parking lot until called by the hearing officer.

Phase 5 (Estimated effective date is 30-45 days after Phase 4.)

    • Both lobbies for Hearings and Appeals are reopened to allow participants to wait inside the building for their hearings.
      • Seating will be arranged to maintain social distancing.
    • It will be considered to open additional courtrooms/hearing rooms for in-person hearings.
      • They Department of Administration will try to implement a system that allows counsel to choose between an in-person, video, or telephonic hearing when notices of hearing are sent out.

Though many claimants, attorneys (on both sides), and hearing/appeals officers would like things to return to “normal,” I applaud the Senior Appeals Officer for giving some guidance and providing clearer guidelines to a reopening and “new normal.”

The Department of Administration is still behind in scheduling hearings and appeals that were filed, as there were over 1500 hearings and appeals filed during the closure. Patience and understanding is going to be necessary as we all await hearing and appeal dates.

Give me a call or send an email for a free consultation if you have questions or concerns about your Nevada workers’ compensation claim.

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4 Steps To Take If You’ve Been Injured At Work.


By Jason Weinstock on May 29, 2020
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Getting hurt anywhere can be a scary experience but can be even more frightening when it happens at work. On top of the pain associated with the injury, my clients often also express fear of losing their job and costly medical bills. It is important to remember that accidents happen, and Nevada’s workers’ compensation system is a non-fault system. A valid work injury covered by workers’ compensation insurance provides the benefit of covering your medical treatment with no out-of-pocket costs, unlike private health insurance. Here are 4 steps to take if you’ve been injured at work:

1) Assess your injury!

Work accidents happen in many ways and result in different forms of physical or mental injuries. Your health and safety should be your first concern. It should also be your employer’s first concern. Evaluate your injury and seek first aid or call for help depending on severity. Sometimes assessing the injury only requires taking a second to sit down and catch your breath, or sometimes it requires emergency transport to a hospital. Take a second to recognize what happened, what hurts, and what immediate treatment you might need.

2) Notify your employer that you were injured!

Tell your employer about the accident or injury immediately or as soon as possible. NRS 616C.015 requires an injured employee to notify their employer of the injury “as soon as practicable, but within 7 days.”

Too often I have clients that come to me with a denied claim because they did not report the injury to their employer within the 7 days. Their reasoning is not that they didn’t actually get hurt at work but rather they wanted to wait to see if they got better before they “made it a big deal.” While this is completely understandable and in the “real world” a totally normal thing to do, workers’ compensation insurance companies will use this against you.

An example of this is a construction worker who is lifting something heavy, hears a pop and feels pain in his back. He takes some Tylenol and thinks he will sleep it off over the next few days. Eight days later he realizes his back is not getting better and he tells his employer about the injury.

I recommend telling your employer of the accident and injury as soon as it happens, if possible, even if you do not know the severity yet. Your employer should have you complete a C-1 Form also called a Notice of Injury or they may have their own accident report forms. Ask to complete a written accident statement if one is not automatically given to you to complete.

3) Seek Medical Attention!

Although this also falls under number 1 (assess your injury), it is important to mention it again for injured employees like those in the example above. Completing a C-4 Form, also known as a Request for Compensation, is what starts initiates the workers’ compensation insurance claim. This form must be completed by a doctor within 90 days. You may not feel that your injury is severe enough to seek medical attention the instant it happens, that is why the legislature allows you 90 days to see a doctor and file a claim for compensation per NRS 616C.020.

Using the example above, let’s say the construction worker told his employer of the pop and pain in his back the day it happened but wanted to see if the pain would go away on its own in a few days. Even if the construction worker waits 2 months (I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS), he would still fall within the statutory requirement of reporting a claim within 90 days.

4) Consult with an attorney for a free case review!

Many workers’ compensation attorneys, like myself, offer free consultations and will review your case with you. Although not every workers’ compensation claim will require an attorney’s assistance, taking advantage of a free consultation is always a good idea.

I recently wrote a blog on the types of benefits offered by workers’ compensation insurance. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney will be able to ensure you are receiving all the benefits that you are owed. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you gather evidence and medical records and will also be able to assist in finding the appropriate doctor or getting treatment approved.

Give me a call or send an email for a free consultation if you have questions or concerns about your Nevada workers’ compensation claim, filing a claim, or workers’ compensation benefits and deadlines.

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Time deadlines for a Nevada Workers’ Compensation Claim.


By Jason Weinstock on May 1, 2020
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A few weeks ago, I posted a blog regarding “5 Mistakes That Can Affect Your Nevada Workers’ Compensation Claim.” Number one on the list was missed filing deadlines. Filing deadlines refers to filing claims with the insurer, giving notice to your employer, and filing appeals to the Department of Administration. However, there are many deadlines that may affect your claim and they can expire fast. Below are some time deadlines for a Nevada workers’ compensation claim that you should keep in mind!

  • Time to notify your employer that you have been injured at work or have been diagnosed with an occupational disease/illness = 7 days.

    • The statute says the injured worker must notify their employer “as soon as practicable, but within 7 days after the accident.” I recommend telling your employer the day you are injured, regardless of how severe you think it is.
  • Time to notify the insurer (file a claim for compensation) that you have been injured at work or have been diagnosed with an occupational disease/illness = 90 days.

    • A C-4 form (Request for Compensation) must be filed by the injured employee within 90 days after the accident if: (1) the employee sought medical attention, or (2) has missed work because of the injury or illness.
  • Insurers have 30 days from when they received the C-4 form to make a determination on claim acceptance or denial.

  • Time to request mileage or travel reimbursement = 60 days.

    • Requests for mileage or travel reimbursement must be made within 60 days after the expenses are incurred.
  • Time to submit medical billing to the insurer = 90 days.

    • Medical billing must be submitted within 90 days of the date of service.
    • The insurer has 45 days to approve or deny.
  • Time to request a transfer of care = 90 days.

    • An injured worker has 90 days from the date of injury to request a transfer of care to a workers’ compensation doctor of their choosing.
    • However, the workers’ compensation doctor must be off the insurer’s provider list.
    • The insurer has 10 days to grant or deny the request. If there is no response within 10 days, the request is deemed granted. Because of practical reasons, the 10 day rule is hard to enforce.
  • Insurers also have 30 days from the date of any request made by the injured worker or their attorney to issue a determination regarding the request.

  • Time to file an initial appeal with the Department of Administration, Hearings Division = 70 days.

    • This includes appeals of claim denials, claim acceptance, denial of treatment authorizations, denial of mileage reimbursement, a transfer of care, claim closure, etc.
  • Time to file an appeal of a hearing officer’s decision and order = 30 days.

    • Appeals of a hearing officer’s decision and order must be filed within 30 days of the date the decision and order was signed.
    • Appeals are filled with the Department of Administration, Appeals Division.
  • Time to file an appeal of an appeals officer’s decision and order = 30 days.

    • Appeals of an appeals officer’s decision and order must be filed within 30 days of the date the decision and order was signed.
    • Appeals are filed with the District Court and are called a Petition for Judicial Review.

This is not an exhaustive list of all the rapid time deadlines for a Nevada workers’ compensation claim, but it does cover a majority of the most missed deadlines.

Give me a call or send an email for a free consultation if you have questions or concerns about your Nevada workers’ compensation claim, filing a claim, or workers’ compensation benefits and deadlines.

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What Are Nevada Workers’ Compensation Benefits?


By Jason Weinstock on April 10, 2020
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If you are injured at work, it is important to know what you are entitled to and what are Nevada workers’ compensation benefits. The Nevada Industrial Insurance Act (NIIA) is the act that governs Nevada’s workers’ compensation in conjunction with NRS 616 – 617 and NAC 616 – 617. In short Nevada’s workers’ compensation benefits can be broken down into “7 types of benefits injured workers may be entitled to.”

  1. Medical Treatment.

One of the main goals of the NIIA is to return an injured worker to preinjury condition/health. This entails getting them proper treatment at no cost to them. When an employee gets hurt at work one of the first steps in initiating a claim entails going to a doctor and completing a C-4 Form.

Once a claim is filed with the workers’ compensation insurance company, the insurer has 30 days to accept or deny the claim. During this time, the injured worker can treat with the physician that completed the C-4 form or any physician that doctor refers the injured worker to, if approved by the insurer.

Once the claim is accepted, insurers have providers list which the injured worker can treat with. Unlike private health insurance, there are no co-pays or out-of-pocket medical expenses for the injured worker to pay for when treating for their work injury. Workers’ compensation insurers help schedule treatment, testing and pay for prescriptions.

  1. Lost Time Compensation (TTD/TPD).

When an injured worker is taken out of work due to their injury for more than 5 consecutive days or is working light duty, but making less than they normally would, they may be entitled to compensation. The amount of compensation depends on the injured workers’ average monthly wage at the time of the injury. Benefits are paid at a rate of 66 and 2/3% of the injured workers’ average monthly wage.

Temporary total disability (TTD) benefits are paid when the injured worker is taken completely off work due to the doctor’s work restrictions or if the employer has no “light duty” work that falls within the doctor’s work restrictions.

Temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits are paid when the injured worker is working light duty but making less than his/her calculated daily rate (or less than 66 and 2/3% of their preinjury average monthly wage).

  1. Permanent Partial Disability (PPD).

At the end of all the injured worker’s treatment, their treating physician will indicate that the injured worker is “stable,” at maximum medical improvement, and whether there may be a ratable impairment. If the treating physician does indicate there is a ratable impairment the insurer has 30 days to schedule a permanent partial disability (PPD) examination.

The PPD examination is done by a licensed rating physician, who uses methods prescribed by the American Medical Association Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment to determine a percentage of whole person impairment. This percentage of impairment is used to determine settlement amounts and the length of vocational rehabilitation, if an injured worker is entitled to vocational rehabilitation.

  1. Permanent Total Disability (PTD).

Permanent total disability (PTD) benefits come into play if an injured worker is injured so severely that he/she cannot return to any form of employment again. Injured workers’ eligible for PTD receive monthly payments for life.

  1. Vocational Rehabilitation.

If an injured worker is released from their treating physician with permanent work restrictions, meaning they can never return to their preinjury employment, their employer has to offer a permanent light duty job position. If their employer cannot offer a permanent light duty position, the injured may be entitled to vocational training. This is where the injured worker can attend schooling to learn a new skill or trade that will assist them in finding meaningful employment.

The schooling is paid for and the injured worker receives bi-weekly maintenance checks (similar to TTD benefits). If the injured worker does not want to attend schooling, they may request a lump sum buy-out in lieu of vocational rehabilitation.

  1. Dependent’s Payments in the Event of Death.

In the event of an injured workers’ death which is the result of a compensable work injury, his/her dependents may be entitled to the financial benefits that the injured worker himself/herself would have been entitled to.

  1. Other Claims-Related Benefits or Expenses.

Nevada’s workers’ compensation system also allows for additional benefits including mileage and travel reimbursement. Mileage is paid at a current rate of 57.5 cents per mile and this amount is subject to change every year on January 1st. If an injured worker lives out of state and is required to come to Nevada for medical treatment, the injured worker may be entitled to have their hotel and food paid for while in Nevada for the medical treatment. Additionally, there may be times when prosthetics or other claim related expenses would be covered by the insurer.

Although the above list of workers’ compensation benefits is a good basic overview, I recommend consulting with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney, as eligibility to each of these benefits requires a case-by-case analysis.

Give me a call or send an email for a free consultation if you have questions or concerns about your Nevada workers’ compensation claim, filing a claim, or workers’ compensation benefits.

 

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Update on How Coronavirus Impacts Workers’ Compensation.


By Jason Weinstock on April 2, 2020
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It was on March 17, 2020, that Nevada Governor Sisolak closed all casinos and gaming establishments in Nevada and recommended the closure of all “non-essential” businesses. This has led to non-essential surgeries being cancelled, massive layoffs/furloughs, and the partial closure of the Department of Administration. Below is an update on how Coronavirus impacts workers’ compensation.

I have been very impressed with how the workers’ compensation insurance companies/ adjusters and the workers’ compensation doctors have been working to accommodate Nevada’s injured workers. I have not had any more than the usual difficulty getting a hold of adjusters, in fact I have found that most adjusters are even easier to get a hold of! From what I can tell all adjusters are working from home and have gone great lengths to be able to have full access to their files.

Workers’ compensation doctors have been continuing to treat injured workers. Most have established telemedicine capabilities and have been treating injured workers over the phone. This has been instrumental in the ability for injured workers to continue treatment with out negative implications on their claim. Doctors are continuing to give work restrictions if necessary, so injured workers can continue to receive TTD. Some doctors are still seeing patients in person, while complying with the CDC guidelines for cleanliness and minimal close contact.

Most employers have offered full pay to injured workers, while their businesses are shut down. The employers who cannot offer full pay have been proactive in informing their workers’ compensation insurance company that they no longer have light duty and that temporary total disability (TTD) benefits need to be paid. For employer who have not been proactive in informing the insurance company, it has been my experience that when I inform the insurance company, TTD is being processed and approved quickly.

The Department of Administration (workers’ compensation courthouse) tried hard at first to accommodate telephonic hearings and appeals, but quickly became overwhelmed as they had to minimize their staff. Unfortunately, this has led to an inability to conduct hearings or appeals. However, attorneys, claimants, insurers, and employers are still able to timely file hearing and appeal requests, no dates are being calendared yet. Rumor has it, the Department of Administration is working on their abilities to reopen in some capacity that may allow for the hearing of contested issues sooner rather than later.

The way the Las Vegas community comes together during a crisis never ceases to amaze me. While there is no doubt that Coronavirus is and will continue to effect Nevada workers’ compensation claims, I am incredible impressed with the efforts of attorneys on both sides, workers’ compensation insurers, adjusters, and doctors during these times. Injured workers’ and the community as a whole have continued to be #VegasStrong!

Let’s continue to work on our social distancing and follow the CDC guidelines for preventing the disease from spreading, so that we can stop the spread and return to normal as quickly as possible! In the meantime, my office continues to stay open and I can be reached by phone or email!

Give me a call or send an email for a free consultation if you have questions or concerns about your Nevada workers’ compensation claim, filing a claim, or workers’ compensation benefits.

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How the Coronavirus Has Been Affecting Nevada’s Workers’ Compensation Community.


By Jason Weinstock on March 18, 2020
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The Nevada workers’ compensation community includes, but is not limited to injured workers, claimant’s attorneys, the Department of Administration, healthcare providers, third-party administrators, insurers, employers, and defense attorneys. The Coronavirus is affecting workers’ compensation for everyone in some way or another.

The effect of the Coronavirus on Nevada’s workers’ compensation community is being felt the most by Nevada’s injured workers. “If workers’ comp will still be paid out during the COVID-19 / Coronavirus outbreak” has been a popular search on Google this week. The answer is yes. If you have an accepted workers’ compensation claim you can expect your temporary total disability “TTD” checks to continue and your doctor’s appointments to continue to get scheduled. This is as of today, March 18, 2020.

Despite Governor Sisolak’s closure of all “non-essential” businesses, law offices and health care providers continue to remain open. I am finding the same to be true regarding the workers’ compensation insurance companies, however, most are now working from home. My office continues to remain open and fighting for the rights and benefits of injured workers. Should the need arise to close the office in the future, rest assured that we have the technology available and are fully capable of functioning from home.

Many injured workers are incapable of showing up for work, as their employer has shut down for the next 30 days as requested by the Governor. These injured workers should notify their attorneys or adjusters immediately, so that TTD benefits can be requested. Additionally, I have been in touch with many doctors’ offices and none have informed me of any cancellations or closures.

The Department of Administration, Hearings Division (the workers’ compensation courthouse) starting tomorrow, March 19, 2020, will stop having all hearings and appeals. All currently scheduled hearings will be continued until they resume hearing cases. The time frame of how long they will stop having hearings for is currently unknown.  Attorneys and claimant’s will still be able to file hearings and appeals via fax, email or mail. However, when these hearings and appeals will be scheduled is unknown.

Here is the information needed to file a hearing or appeal:

Las Vegas Office

      • Mail: 2200 South Rancho Drive, Suite 210A, Las Vegas NV 89102
      • Email: hearingsandappeals@admin.nv.gov, or
      • Facsimile for Hearing Officer (702) 486-2879; for Appeals Office (702) 486-2555

Carson City Office

      • Mail: 1050 E Williams Street Suite 450, Carson City, NV 89701
      • Email: teaton@admin.nv.gov; or
      • Facsimile for Hearings Officer (775) 687-8441;  for Appeals Office (775) 687-8421

The impact from the court not hearing cases will be enormous. This means injured workers’ who have been denied surgery will have to wait to have a judge determine whether the denial was proper. Injured workers’ who are now out of work and their TTD has been denied will now be forced to continue to wait without any income, before a judge can decide if the denial was proper.

My recommendation is that we continue social distancing and following the CDC’s preventative guidelines of maintaining good hygiene. The goal is to minimize exposure to the virus, decrease the spread, and put this behind us. In the meantime, my office will remain available to fight for my client’s rights and benefits, as well as, attempt to answer all questions and concerns.

Give me a call or send an email for a free consultation if you have questions or concerns about your Nevada workers’ compensation claim, filing a claim, or workers’ compensation benefits.

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