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Changes to the New York State Workers’ Compensation System

Major changes were made to the New York workers’ compensation system in 2007, which have benefited injured workers receiving workers’ comp benefits.  As result of the reform, benefits have gone up for injured workers, costs have decreased for employers and workers are able to receive their benefits quicker.  According to Zachary S. Weiss, Chair of New York State Workers’ Compensation Board, “there have been great changes in the workers’ compensation system in New York—changes that were necessary for New York State and the Workers’ Compensation Board to fulfill their obligation to both workers and employers.”

It has been nearly a century since New York has established a no-fault workers’ compensation system.  Before the New York Workers’ Compensation Law was established, the only way an injured worker could receive compensation was through the court and the employer usually put up a fight.

In New York, the current workers’ compensation system is designed to provide medical care and weekly cash benefits to workers who are injured on the job.  Employers are required to carry workers’ compensation coverage, which pays weekly cash benefits and medical care to the injured worker.

As a result of the new reform in 2007, benefits for injured workers have increased.  The reform law immediately raised the weekly benefit from $400 to $500 in 2007 and is expected to increase to $760 in 2010. 

Employers also benefited from the 2007 reform.  Just two years ago, New York was considered to have one of the most expensive workers’ compensation programs in the United States.  After the reform, employers have become more competitive.

In the past, if an employer disputed a workers’ compensation claim, it took the Workers’ Compensation Board more than 200 days on average to resolve the disputed claim.  This delay created a problem for injured workers in New York.  Now, the average time it takes the Board to review a disputed claim is only 90 days.  The New York Workers’ Compensation Board has also changed the way it handles appealed cases, which has dropped the backlog by 25 percent since March 2008.

There have also been some other changes to New York Workers’ Compensation Law, which includes self insurance and fraud prevention.  For more information on the reform made to the New York workers’ compensation system, view the full report produced by the New York Workers’ Compensation Board.

If you have been injured on the job in New York, you do not have to navigate the confusing workers’ compensation system alone.  Contact the New York workers’ compensation lawyers at Markhoff & Mittman, P.C. at 866-205-2415 or (866) 205-2415.