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Board Suspends Labor Market Attachment Requirement During COVID-19 Pandemic

Late last week, the Board announced that it would not require injured workers to demonstrate labor market attachment to maintain partial disability payments during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Board will review this position upon the Governor's declaration that the COVID-19 emergency has ended. 

The Board reminded stakeholders that labor market attachment is required to be addressed at the time of permanency, so long as the carrier raises the issue. In light of its suspension of the labor market attachment requirement during the COVID-19 emergency, the Board will direct Law Judges to adjourn cases so that the labor market attachment requirement can be addressed "at a time when the claimant is able to demonstrate labor market attachment." 

We recommend that our clients continue to raise the issue of labor market attachment, even though it cannot be addressed at this time, to preserve the issue for further review when the emergency period is over. Failure to do so risks a waiver of the defense in the future. 

This announcement from the Board, along with the Board's willingness to excuse a claimant in the period of temporary disability from producing medical evidence ever 90 days, has curtailed the ability of employers and carriers to defend the indemnity portions of their claims during the COVID-19 crisis.

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