What workers’ compensation benefits are available to New Yorkers?

Anyone who has been injured while at work in New York should know the workers’ compensation benefits available.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, as of early October this year, there has been more than $450 million paid out in workers' compensation benefits in New York. That is a substantial amount of money, and it represents several different items.

People who have been injured while on the job should be aware of the benefits that may be available to them. That way, they should know what the maximum compensation is and strive to obtain it.

Workers' compensation eligibility

Before discussing the possible benefits, it is essential to know what qualifies someone for workers' compensation payments in New York. Every state has a different set of guidelines. Here, the law states that just about every company must have a policy in place to protect workers in the event of an onsite injury. The exceptions include clergy members and volunteers, among others. To receive benefits, the injury or illness must have come about due to the person's scope of employment.

Medical benefits

People who are eligible may receive several types of benefits, one of which covers the cost of medical care. The provider of care - be it for treatment or recovery - must be approved by the New York State Workers' Compensation Board. There are a few exceptions to this rule when it comes to certain diagnostic testing and in emergency situations.

Cash benefits

Workers injured while on the job may also be eligible for a cash benefit once they have been disabled for more than seven days. Those first seven days out of work will be compensated once the worker has been out for 14 days. The worker will receive a weekly payment equal to two-thirds of his or her average weekly earnings multiplied by the degree to which he or she is disabled. According to the New York State Workers' Compensation Board, the current weekly maximum payment is set at $864.32, which means no one may receive more than that each week.

Other benefits

There are several other benefits that may apply to certain situations, and those include the following:

  • Social Security: When someone has been permanently disabled or disabled for 12 months or longer, he or she may receive Social Security Disability.
  • Supplemental: These are available to total and permanently disabled people and widows/widowers receiving death benefits, both prior to Jan. 1, 1979.
  • Death: Death benefits extend to a spouse and/or children younger than 18 and other dependents.

Death benefits may also go to the decedent's other relatives or his or her estate, depending on who has survived him or her. Death benefits are made either in weekly payments to a spouse and/or minor children, or in a lump sum to the estate or surviving parents of $50,000.

People who have questions about workers' compensation benefits should speak with an attorney in New York.