Attachment to the Labor Market

By Erin McCabe, Esq. 

If your doctor finds that you have a 100% disability under the Workers’ Compensation Law then you have no obligation to look for work and are entitled to monetary benefits.  The moment your degree of disability falls below 100% in order to continue to be “attached to the labor market” and entitled to benefits, you have an obligation to show a good faith effort to find employment and to look for work within your medical restrictions.

Pursuant to case law attachment to the labor market can be demonstrated by credible documented evidence showing that you are actively seeking work within your medical restrictions through one or more of the following methods of seeking employment:


  1. Active participation in a job-location service such as:
    1. New York State's Department of Labor's re-employment services,
    2. One-Stop Career Centers,
    3. A job service commonly utilized to secure work within a specific industry;
  2. Active participation in vocational rehabilitation through Adult Career and Continuing Education Services – Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR) or other Board-approved rehabilitation program;
  3. Active participation in a job-retraining program;
  4. Attendance at an accredited educational institution full time to pursue employment within the work restrictions


If you are pursuing one of the above programs you should document your efforts on the Workers’ Compensation Board form C-258.

Another way to show attachment to the labor market is by documenting an independent job search that is timely, diligent, and persistent.  Timely, diligent and persistent is generally determined on a case by case basis.  Generally you should be applying to possible positions on a daily basis.  This search should be documented on Workers’ Compensation Board Form C-258.1. 

Be as detailed as possible on both of these forms. You will be questioned by the Administrative Law Judge and the insurance carrier regarding your search to determine if it is sufficient.

If you retire due to your work related injuries and you are seeking Workers’ Compensation benefits you must have a report from your doctor supporting that you had to retire due to your injuries and you could no longer do the job.  This does not eliminate the need to search for work if you are less than totally disabled.

This process is often frustrating and many times depressing because although you look for work it is very apparent that there are too many jobs you can’t perform, or if you inform a potential employer of your limitations they don’t hire you.  However, it is necessary in order to receive the benefits due to you.

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