Independent research has proven that, in the past, New York’s workers’ compensation structure neither provides a positive medical benefit or timely payment to injured workers. Quick delivery of workers’ compensation benefits, however, causes employers to incur fewer costs than those associated with delayed payments. Not to mention, prompt payment is obviously helpful for the injured worker. Unfortunately in New York, it seems that workers who are most in need of compensation seem receive the least and wait the longest for their benefits.

Workers can be injured on the job in numerous ways, including an exposure to toxic chemicals, back injury or head injury and crush injury. These are only a few of the workplace accidents that can put an employee out of work and into the hospital. It’s important for workers to know their rights and what benefits they deserve. When employees are hurt and unable to work, their livelihood is at risk. This is why it is extremely important to get the maximum benefit possible, and to get it quickly.

Among the steps being taken to improve the system are lowering the cost of workers’ compensation to employers and changing outdated paper-based claims reporting into an electronic reporting system. The Business Relief Act, signed into law in 2013 by Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to save employers $800 million in 2014. The new electronic reporting system will allow a more transparent claims and payment process.

Workers’ compensation is supposed to replace lost wages of injured workers and those suffering from occupational illness as well as contribute to medical expenses incurred as a result of a workplace accident. Hopefully these new changes will ensure that workers receive the benefits they deserve after a serious on-the-job accident.

Source: The Buffalo News, “State is committed to improving outdated workers compensation system,” Jeffery Fenster, Jan. 12, 2014