The first thing that most New York workers who are injured on the job want to know is: What sort of benefits am I going to receive? It’s not a question of wanting more money, but a question asked out of concern for one’s family. If you’re not able to return to work quickly, how will you continue to make house payments, put food on the table, and pay for the ever increasing costs of health care?
New York Workers’ Compensation laws are currently undergoing a reform. On March 13, 2007, Governor Spitzer signed a sweeping Workers’ Compensation Reform Initiative into law. The reform was intended to streamline the regulatory process and increase the maximum weekly pay for New Yorkers who are injured on the job.
Beginning July 1, 2007, the weekly maximum pay for injured workers was increased from $400 to $500. This number will steadily increase to $550 a week on July 1, 2008 and $600 a week on July 1, 2009.
Beginning July 1, 2010, the weekly maximum pay will be set at two-thirds of the state average weekly wage. Thereafter, the rate will be adjusted for inflation each year.
Another benefit of the reformed law is that medical providers no longer need to receive prior approval of services costing up to $1,000. Under the old law, any non-emergency procedure costing over $500 had to receive advance authorization from the workers’ compensation insurance provider.
Because of the rising costs of health care, supplemental benefits are made available to claimants who were classified as permanently and totally disabled prior to January 1, 1979 and widows or widowers receiving death benefits as the result of a death of their spouse occurring before January 1, 1979.
Recipients of these benefits, which are based on the 1979 rate, cannot recieve more than $215 a week. That total includes weekly benefits, death benefits, and supplemental benefits.
If a family member has died in a work-related accident, the surviving spouse and/or minor children are entitled to weekly cash benefits equal to two-thirds of the deceased worker’s average weekly wage in the year prior to the accident. If there is no surviving spouse or minor children, other dependents may be entitled to receive the benefits.
If you were injured on the job, you should discuss your case with an experienced attorney today in order to safeguard your rights and ensure that you are able to provide for your family during the course of your injury. In New York, waiting more than 30 days after the accident that causes your injury may cost you the right to recover. If you have a question about your legal rights, the attorneys at Markhoff & Mittman would be glad to talk to you. Please call us today at 855-614-4351.