In New York, our workers’ compensation system is designed to help an injured worker recover from a work-related injury or illness. The benefits include providing medical care, offsetting lost wages, and helping the worker get back to work. Although the system is meant to be simple, navigating it often requires the assistance of a workers compensation attorney to ensure that you are getting the benefit you deserve.
An Overview of Benefits
Workers’ compensation is meant to be a comprehensive set of benefits to allow a worker to get back on his or her feet and back to work. Benefits can be enacted quickly without the need to prove fault. At the same time, it also serves to protect the employer from litigation that may result from the injury or illness.
These benefits include:
- Medical benefits
- Temporary disability benefits, both total and partial
- Permanent total disability benefits
- Permanent partial disability benefits
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Death benefits
Maximum weekly benefits for an injured worker is two-thirds of the New York State average weekly wage for the previous calendar year. From the period of July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021, that amount is $966/78 based on the average weekly pay of $1,450.17 determined by the New York State Department of Labor for 2019.
How Long Can You Collect Benefits?
The length of time that you are eligible to collect workers’ compensation benefits will vary depending on the degree of the injury, illness, or disability that is determined by a healthcare provider.
When a worker has been determined to have suffered from a permanent total disability, there will be no limit to how long they will be able to collect benefits. For anything less than a permanent total disability, there will be a maximum number of weeks that a worker can receive benefits as set out by the 2018 impairment guidelines by the Workers’ Compensation Board.
Before any determination is made regarding an injury or disability, there will be a medical evaluation to determine if the worker has reached maximum medical improvement and has recovered as much as possible from the injury. An injured worker is required to see a doctor every six weeks to establish that there is still a disability. However, you or your doctor may disagree with the insurance doctor’s findings. This is when having an experienced personal injury lawyer is essential.
Eligibility for Worker’s Compensation Benefits
It is important to keep in mind what New York’s Workers’ Compensation laws cover if you are injured at work. These laws provide clear guidelines for workers regarding their rights and obligations to seek compensation. However, you are not automatically eligible for benefits just because were injured at work. There are guidelines that must be followed in order for a worker to be eligible for benefits.
New York’s compensation laws require that the injury-causing incident must fall into several categories. One of these categories includes the company you are working for in a capacity that is required to have workers’ compensation coverage. Another category that must be satisfied is that the injury or illness that the worker suffered occurred because of their job and while performing their work.
It is also important for the worker to give their employer a written notice of the incident within 30 days of when it happened. In order to be eligible for the worker’s benefits, the employee must also provide a medical report that states that the injury or disability was caused by an on-the-job accident.
Employers and insurance companies can possibly dispute the incidents even though they clearly qualify for compensation. To prove that you are eligible for benefits, it will be necessary to gather solid evidence with the assistance of doctors and to speak with an experienced construction accident attorney.
What Happens if You Don’t Agree with the Insurance Company’s Doctor?
Unfortunately, there are those times when your own doctor’s assessment of your disability is not in line with the insurance company’s doctor. In the past, you would be entitled to a hearing. Today, hearings are rarely held, but when there is a substantial difference in the opinion between your doctor and the insurance company’s doctor, it can be reviewed and decided by the Workers’ Compensation Board.
Because negotiations often take place during workers’ compensation claim settlements, you should get the guidance of a skilled workers’ compensation lawyer. If you need help navigating workers’ compensation insurance benefits, get the advice of an experienced workers compensation lawyer in New York. Contact K L Sanchez Law Office, P.C. (646) 701-7990