If you’ve been injured on the job and are missing time from work, you probably have many questions.
For example, you may be wondering what your rights are and how you are going to deal with the expensive medical costs that you’ve incurred due to your injuries.
Well, you have come to the right place. Our experienced attorneys are here to answer all of your questions about workers’ compensation in New York.
We encourage you to read through our informative FAQ section below and contact us with any additional questions you may have.
Workers’ Compensation FAQ
Markhoff & Mittman, P.C. has been helping injured workers in New York to recover workers’ compensation since 1933.
As a result, we have heard many of the questions about workers’ compensation.
Below is a list of some of the most common questions that we hear from our clients, along with quick answers to those questions. While these answers are intended to help you better understand workers’ compensation in New York, we encourage you to call us to speak with an experienced attorney about your specific circumstances.
What Is Workers’ Compensation & How Does It Work?
Workers’ compensation states that employees have the right to receive benefits when they are acutely injured, develop an injury or contract illnesses at the workplace. The purpose of the law is to protect employees who are injured on the job and help them return to gainful employment as soon as possible after an injury or illness.
In return for this protection, workers give up their right to sue their employer for negligence. The idea is to limit litigation fees and protect workers in the unfortunate event that they suffer an injury. This would be a fair deal if workers always received the benefits that they are guaranteed under the law.
To learn more about workers’ compensation and how it works, click here.
Am I Entitled To Workers’ Compensation?
Under New York State law, all employees who are injured in the course of work are entitled to receive workers compensation, regardless of what caused their injury. However, it is often difficult to obtain workers’ comp benefits because the claims process is complicated and insurance companies will try to deny your claim in an effort to avoid paying up.
In order to obtain workers’ compensation benefits, an injured worker must prove that he or she has an injury, illness or disability that occurred during the course of his or her employment.
Additionally, the complicated application process and the interest of the insurance companies to deny your claim can make it very difficult.
If you were injured on the job and are wondering if you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits you can contact The Disability Guys for a free consultation.
I’ve Been Injured On The Job. What Should I Do Now?
Knowing what to do after a workplace injury can help improve your chances of obtain any workers’ compensation benefits that you may be entitled to.
Three things you should do immediately after suffering an injury on the job include:
- Notifying your employee of your injury
- Seeking medical attention for your injuries
- Contacting a workers’ compensation lawyer
While there are many other steps that you will need to take after reporting your injury and seeking medical attention, these three steps are very important and time sensitive.
If you were injured at work and are wondering what to do click here.
What Types of Work-Related Injuries Are Eligible For Workers Comp?
Under New York law, employers are required to provide workers’ compensation for all employees through an insurance plan or via self-insurance.
Additionally, New York workers’ compensation states that injured workers’ are entitled to receive benefits for any any type of injury, regardless of what caused the injury.
Therefore, all types of workplace injuries can qualify for workers’ compensation. Some of the most common types of injuries that we help with include:
- Back Injuries
- Knee Injuries
- Eye Injuries
- Head Injuries
- Bone Fractures & Muscle Strains
- Burns, Scars & Disfigurement
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Heart Attack & Strokes
- Loss of Limb / Amputation
- MRSA Infections
- Neck Injuries
- Hearing Loss
- Nerve & Tendon Injuries
- Paralysis, paraplegia & quadriplegia
- Repetitive trauma injuries
- Mental health issues
- and other work-related injuries
Did you suffer an injury not included above? Don’t worry.
We represent all injured workers in New York regardless of the type of injury sustained.
To learn more about specific work-related injuries click here.
What Is The Process For Filing A Workers Compensation Claim?
The process for filing a workers’ compensation claim is complicated and obtaining benefits is often much more difficult than people expect. Unfortunately, many injured workers are denied the compensation that they need because they do not seek legal help.
Many workers are not able to obtain compensation for their injuries because they do not understand the workers’ compensation process or miss important deadlines when applying.
Some important steps when filing a workers’ compensation claim include:
- Obtaining necessary medical treatment
- Notifying A Supervisor About The Accident in Writing
- Filing A Claim with the New York Workers’ Compensation Board (Forn C-3)
- Obtaining Doctor’s Initial Report (Form C-4) Within 48 Hours of Treatment
- Employer Reports The Injury To Workers’ Compensation Board & Insurance company
- Obtaining Written Statement of Rights From Insurance Company
As you can see there are several important steps involved in filing a workers’ compensation claim. Understanding these steps and filing information on time is critical to winning your claim.
What Should I Do If My Claim Is Denied?
Unfortunately, workers compensation claims are often denied on the first application. However, just because your claim is initially denied does not mean that you should give up.
If you believe that your claim for workers’ comp benefits was wrongfully denied you can file an appeal with the New York Workers’ Compensation Board.
To learn more about denied claims and how to appeal, click here.
How Much Does Workers’ Compensation Pay?
When you file for a workers compensation claim, you are entitled to receive two-thirds of your Average Weekly Wage and the Maximum Benefit.
Why are you limited in the amount of workers’ compensation benefits you receive?
The idea is that two-thirds of your average wage would be the equivalent of your take-home pay since workers’ compensation is not a taxable benefit. Said in another way, if you were earning $600.00 a week you may take home $400.00 a week.
However, there are limits on the total amount of compensation that you can receive in New York. For more information on the amount of Workers’ Compensation benefits you may be able to receive in New York, click here.
What Is A Schedule Loss Of Use Award?
A schedule loss of use award is an award that determines the amount of money you will receive based on the loss of use (such as a restricted range of motion) you have to a specific injured body part (usually limbs/digits).
This percentage is determined by medical evidence such as treating doctors’ report and the Independent Medical Examiners report, if any. The “schedule” is a determination made by the legislature as to what a specific body part is worth. Currently, for example, a 100% Schedule to your arm is worth 312 weeks of compensation. If your doctor says you have a 10% schedule of your arm then it is worth only 31.2 weeks!
Your weekly earnings determine the “rate” of your benefit which is then mulitplied by the percentage of loss schedule to give you a monetary figure. What is good about such awards are that you could potentially receive money for a permanent injury even if you had a short amount of time out of work!
How Long Do I Have To File A Claim?
You generally have 2 years from the date of accident or knowledge of the injury to file your claim with the Workers Compensation Board.
Simply notifying your employer is not sufficient. You should contact an attorney to discuss the exceptions to this rule if you have missed a deadline.
Whether Workers’ Compensation Benefits are taxable in New York depends on certain facts, and each case is different.
In general, Workers’ Compensation Benefits are not taxable at the Federal, State, and Local level.
However, there are instances in which Workers’ Compensation Benefits could be taxed based on certain circumstances, such as receiving benefits for workers’ compensation and Social Security disability.
To learn more about situations in which Workers’ Comp benefits may be taxable, click here.
Can I Collect Workers’ Comp & Social Security Disability Benefits At The Same Time?
It is possible to receive both Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability benefits at the same time. However, you must qualify for both.
Additionally, there are limits as to how much compensation an injured worker is able to receive based on his or her average current earnings.
To read more about eligibility for Social Security disability benefits and maximum compensation limits click here.
Should I Hire A Workers’ Comp Lawyer?
While you are not required to have an attorney by law, an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can provide help in several ways.
For starters, a workers’ comp lawyer can help you navigate the complicated process of filing a claim and make sure you submit required information on time. Additionally, a workers’ comp lawyer can help you appeal a denied claim.
By hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer you can maximize your chances of recovering the financial support that you need.
Our New York workers’ compensation lawyers offer free consultations to help injured workers determine whether or not they need an attorney.
If you have been injured at work and want to know more about how a workers’ compensation lawyer can help you obtain just compensation, click here.
After I Receive A Section 32 Lump Sum Settlement Can Workers’ Comp Take It Back?
Section 32 settlements are full and final, just like a general release in a regular lawsuit. However, you must go through various steps.
The final steps are (1) Approval from the Workers’ Comp Judge, THEN (2) a ten day waiting period where any side can withdraw and then (3) the issuance of the final decision. Once that happens you are supposed to be paid and the case is over.
How Do I Know What My Retirement Age Is For Social Security Purposes?
Social Security has set different retirement ages based on your year of birth. This is extremely important when applying for regular retirement benefits, disability benefits or early retirement benefits.
If you were born before 1938 your full retirement age is 65
If you were born after 1960, the full retirement age will increase to 67 depending on the year you were born.
If you take an early retirement (62) you will receive, permanently, a reduced benefit. However, if you become disabled during the time between early retirement and regular retirement, you may be eligible for disability benefits and a non-reduced full retirement!
Also, if you are able to continue to work after full retirement age you may be entitled to higher benefits due to special credits and additional earnings.
If I Am Collecting Unemployment Can I Receive Workers Compensation Benefits Too?
You may continue to receive unemployment benefits, if you receive workers’ comp benefits, as long as you are physically and mentally capable of working, and are prepared to start employment immediately. However, your weekly unemployment benefit rate may be reduced. The total weekly amount of your workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance benefits cannot exceed your average weekly wage in the base periods.
It is your responsibility to notify the Telephone Claims Center (NYS Dept of Labor) regarding any workers’ comp benefits you receive during the same weeks you are collecting unemployment insurance. Failure to do so may result in your having to repay benefits you received. You should also contact the telephone claims center if your workers’ comp benefits were reduced or ended.
Does Workers’ Compensation Cover Medical Care From Specialized Doctors?
Who Chooses The Doctor I See If I Am Injured At Work?
In the vast majority of cases, you the injured worker, have complete choice as to the doctor you see. In fact, unless you sign a waiver giving up this right, in most cases the employer is not even supposed to recommend a doctor to you.
Does The New York City Employees Retirement System (NYCERS) Demand Money Back If I Get Workers Comp Payments?
The New York City Employees Retirement System (NYCERS) can and will demand money back. ¾’s is the most you can collect. You must pay back whatever you get in Comp money to NYCERS, or stop getting Comp payments. NYCERS WILL come after you. SSD is separate and not a set off for Tier 4, which most people are now.