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What Are New York Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

In short, New York Workers’ Compensation benefits (sometimes referred to as Workmans’ Compensation or Workers’ Comp) is an employer paid insurance policy that pays cash and/or medical benefits to people who are injured or become sick as a result of circumstances that are directly related to the nature of their job. The employee may not be required to contribute to the cost of premiums.

The New York State Workers’ Compensation Board processes claims and may intervene if there is a dispute between an injured worker and an employer/insurance carrier over the amount of cash benefits or medical care the injured worker needs.

Workers’ Compensation is referred to as a no fault system. What does this mean? In short it means that benefits are payable regardless of an employer’s fault or an employee’s carelessness. When New York’s Workers’ Compensation Law was enacted in the early 1900’s, workers gave up their right to sue their employers for negligence in return for a no fault system which benefited both employers and employees by encouraging a quick return to work.

Claims must be paid once it is determined that the injury or sickness incurred is indeed work-related. If the employer or their insurance company does not believe that an injury, accident or condition is the result of employment, no cash benefits will be paid until a Workers’ Compensation Judge rules on the matter. In the meantime, an employee may be eligible to receive New York State Disability benefits. However, these benefits may be deducted from future NY Workers’ Compensation awards. Should you be able to return to work, but be unable to fully perform all your previous job functions, you may be entitled to receive two thirds of the difference between your prior and current wage/salary if you have reduced earnings.

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