“Through the 2013 Business Relief Act, the state is providing a practical and affordable way for thousands of businesses to meet their responsibilities so that injured workers can receive the compensation they deserve,” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Friday, Dec. 20.

Gov. Cuomo was talking about how the Business Relief Act would help pay for workers’ compensation claims that went unpaid as a result of an employer that was a member of group self-insured trusts that were insolvent. These business were able to make “artificially low payments” by “entering into the group self-insurance trusts,” according to Joel Shufro, the executive director of the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health.

The money allocated under the legislation will be paid in bonds to the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board to assume liability policies.

There was $370 million issued in December, but that wasn’t all that was authorized under this piece of legislation. The Business Relief Act provides that as much as $900,000 may be allocated for use in this way, with the Workers’ Compensation Board administering the claims.

Of course, the businesses that couldn’t pay aren’t off the hook. The Workers’ Compensation Board will take care of the costs now, but the businesses that are a member of these specific trusts will have to repay the costs. The terms of the repayment plan include a 10-year repayment period and interest, although the rates themselves are low.

For the workers that have been injured on the job, a workers’ compensation attorney can help them navigate the law, their claim and ensure that their interests are protected throughout the process.

Source: Insurance Journal, “New York Issues $370M in Bonds to Resolve Workers’ Compensation Claims,” Dec. 23, 2013