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B.R., Queens

Off The Record – Workers’ Comp – Workers’ Comp or Disability

Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Craig Rosasco, managing partner at the law firm of Turley Redmond & Rosasco, full-service disability firm. Going to discuss today the difference between workers’ compensation and disability. Not a day goes by that a client doesn’t call me up using the wrong terminology, “Hey, I got hurt at work and I want to file for disability.” Two totally different monsters. Let’s break it down together and we’ll figure it out.

So, workers’ compensation is designed to replace your wages when you were injured on the job. What type of benefits does that entitle you to? It’s two-fold. One is financial compensation for your lost wages. Second is medical benefits for any treatment for injuries directly related to your work-related injury. So, we’ve got workers’ compensation financial benefits. What does that entail? Two-thirds of your salary. Making $900 a week, two-thirds is $600. You get hurt at work, go out of work, you’re entitled to $600 a week. As long as your doctor is saying you’re totally disabled, you’ll get the full two-thirds of your salary. In addition to the financial package, you medical protection and coverage for the rest of your life, assuming you don’t have any new accidents, for those injuries that are directly related to the accident, okay? So, those are the two sides of workers’ compensation.
Another big thing to keep in mind is workers’ compensation, the statutory maximum currently is $966 a week. Pretty big number, also it’s tax-free. Now, we’re going to jump over to the other side, which is New York State Disability, which you’ll realize the much better program is workers’ compensation. So, what is New York State Disability? You’ll see on your pay stub, there’s a deduction every week on your pay stub, look at your stuff. It says, New York State Disability, 60 cents or some nominal figure that gets deducted out of your paycheck. What does that provide for you? Mike is home on a Saturday afternoon drinking a beer on a hot summer day and he’s up on the ladder cutting his hedges. He falls down off the ladder, breaks his humerus, and now he can’t work come Monday morning. He calls his employer. As long as he’s worked there for 30 days, he tells his employer, “Hey, I’d like the file for New York State Disability.” The employer, they were actually pretty happy with New York State Disability because it’s less of a hit on the premium, okay? The employer goes ahead and files a New York State Disability claim for him. What does that entitle Michael to? Fifty percent of his salary at a cap of $170 per week and it only lasts for 6 months, 26 weeks. So, it’s a much less desirable program, okay? Because the most you get is $170 a week. It’s taxable and it’s got limitations to how long you can collect it. Typically, it’s six months. And you have to show also, on top of everything else, that you’re totally disabled. There’s no partial disability in New York State Disability.

So, you got to know the differences between the two, because it does come into play and there are huge differences in the two programs. And I promise you, your employer is going to try to feed you towards New York State Disability. He’ll bleed you out of work and get you back to work sooner, and the hit against the premium will be a lot less. So, if you’ve encountered this situation, you have any questions or concerns, call me, 516-308-2013. There isn’t anything that my firm cannot break down for you. I look forward to hearing from you. Take care.

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