Workplace accidents and injuries are more common than most think; however, that does not prevent people from being surprised and confused when it happens to them. If you have been injured in a workplace accident, you likely have many questions on your mind. Unfortunately, most workers who suffer these kinds of injuries are unprepared to deal with them. Most of what they know about the workers’ compensation program is obtained from bits of information gathered from friends, family, and coworkers. That information is often unreliable or outright false and can prevent injured workers from getting the benefits they need. What follows is a comprehensive overview of the New York workers’ compensation program’s basic facts, as well as some myth busters from an experienced New York work injury lawyer.
New York Workers’ Compensation FAQs
Do I Qualify for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Likely yes. The vast majority of workers in New York are covered by the state’s workers’ compensation program. This includes:
- Full- and part-time employees in the private sector
- County and municipal employees who are engaged in work deemed “hazardous”
- Corporate officers
- Domestic workers who work at least 40 hours per week for the same employer
- Non-profit employees who receive compensation for their work
However, there are a few exceptions to employees covered under the program:
- Some Independent contractors
- Uniformed New York City police officers, firefighters, and sanitation workers
If you are unsure whether you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits in New York, please contact a New York work injury lawyer.
Is My Specific Accident Scenario Covered Under the Program?
Again, likely yes. A key feature of the workers’ compensation program is that it applies to virtually all work-related injuries. This generally means that if the accident occurred at your workplace or while you were performing duties that were within the scope of your employment, the accident is considered “work-related.”
What Kinds of Benefits Are Available?
The New York workers’ compensation provides three types of benefits: cash benefits, medical benefits, and death benefits.
- Cash benefits: Claimants who are totally or partially disabled and unable to work for more than seven days may receive cash benefits.
- Medical benefits: The program generally pays for the full cost of the employee’s necessary medical care directly related to the original injury so long as the workers’ compensation board authorizes the treating provider.
- Death benefits: If the worker dies from a work-related injury, their surviving spouse and/or minor children are entitled to weekly benefits.
Please keep in mind, however, that there are limits to the cash benefits you can receive. For accidents that occurred between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021, for example, the weekly maximum is $966.78.
How Long Can I Receive Benefits?
The length of time you may receive benefits depends upon your reduced earning capacity due to your injury. As of the date of publication, the limits are:
- 100%: loss of earning capacity – lifetime
- 95-100% loss of earning capacity: 525 weeks
- 90-95%: 500 weeks
- 85-90%: 475 weeks
- 80-85%: 450 weeks
- 75-80%: 425 weeks
- 70-75%: 400 weeks
- 60-70%: 375 weeks
- 50-60%: 350 weeks
- 40-50%: 300 weeks
- 30-40%: 275 weeks
- 15-30%: 250 weeks
- 0-15%: 225 weeks
Common Myths About the New York Workers’ Compensation Program
Myth: I’m not eligible for workers’ compensation because the accident was my fault
Truth: The New York workers’ compensation program is a “no-fault” program, meaning that employees may receive benefits for accidents even if the accident was their fault rather than their employer’s fault. However, this rule does not apply to injuries caused by intentional behavior or those that were the result of inappropriate activities.
Myth: I can be fired for claiming workers’ compensation
Truth: While it is technically accurate that an employer can fire an employee who claims workers’ compensation benefits, it is illegal under New York law. If, after filing a complaint, the workers’ compensation board finds that an employee was improperly discharged, it will order that the employee be restored to their previous position. The employee will also be compensated for any economic loss arising out of the termination.
Myth: Workers’ compensation will cover my wages if I’m unable to work
Truth: The New York workers’ compensation program covers a portion of your wages, but not your total wages. The amount of cash benefits you receive depends on how much you earn and how severe your disability is. Generally, cash benefits are equal to 2/3 of your average weekly wage multiplied by the percentage of your disability.
Myth: I can see any doctor I want for my medical treatment
Truth: The New York workers’ compensation program requires claimants to undergo treatment only by medical providers who are authorized by the workers’ compensation board, except in the case of emergencies.
Contact a New York Work Injury Lawyer for More Information
If you have any further questions about the New York workers’ compensation program, your best place to turn for answers would be an experienced attorney. For more information, please contact a New York work injury lawyer at Turley, Redmond and Rosasco by using our online form or calling 877-693-2529. We serve both New York City and Long Island, including Nassau County and Suffolk County.