Evidence Of Disability

An area of confusion when dealing with disability evidence before the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board arises when a doctor uses an office form for the purpose of keeping a patient out of work.

There is nothing wrong with using a form to document a disability status.  however, it has become commonplace for the doctor and/or their staff to issue these disability statements based on a phone call or office visit when there is actually no physical examination conducted.  Without a physical examination, insurance adjusters, defense counsel, and almost all Law Judges will object to the admissibility of such a statement.

If a disability statement is not based on a physical examination, it is essentially worthless.  This means that it is crucial that a physical exam be performed by physician or chiropractor if they are going to take a patient out of work or place physical restrictions on his or her work activities.  Even a brief examination is sufficient but no exam will render the doctor’s opinion worthless.

Another circumstance where improper medical reports are often submitted is where the physician performs an examination and provides a proper disability statement for a few days.  If the patient does not feel better in a few days the patient will often call the physician and the physician’s office will often respond by writing a new note continuing that person’s disability.  The problem is that if the new note is not based on a new examination then it is worthless for the purpose of securing lost wage benefits.

If you have questions regarding your New York State Workers’ Compensation case, we will be happy to discuss them with you.