If you have been injured on the job in New York, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for your injuries.
These benefits provide a way for injured workers to pay their mortgages, grocery bills, household expenses and medical bills associated with their injury while they are away from work. Most individuals who have been injured while working rely on this money to help them survive financially while they are recovering from their injury.
However, obtaining the benefits that you may be entitled to can be difficult and injured workers are often denied the financial support that they need.
Understanding the Workers’ Compensation claims process and your legal rights after a workplace injury is critical in your efforts to successfully obtaining benefits.
Workers’ Compensation Hearings
There are certain steps in the workers’ compensation claims process that must be followed. Each step is assigned a particular deadline for its completion.
Once all preliminary information is submitted and reviewed, the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board may hold a hearing, or hearings, before a Workers’ Compensation Law Judge to determine your eligibility for benefits.
The judge will listen to relevant testimony, review medical records and other evidence before making the decision regarding benefits. If the judge decides that you are entitled to benefits the amount and duration of compensation will be determined.
However, many workers’ compensation claims are denied for a variety of reasons, leaving workers in difficult financial situations.
Appealing A Workers’ Comp Decision
If the judge denies your eligibility to receive workers’ compensation benefits (as is often the case), then you may appeal the decision.
An appeal of a workers’ compensation decision must be made within 30 days of the filing of the judge’s decision. To initiate an appeal, you must apply in writing for the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board to review. If the appeal is allowed, a panel of three board members will review your workers’ compensation case. This panel has the authority to affirm, modify or rescind the judge’s decision, or send the case back to the judge for further development of the record. In the situation where the panel is not unanimous in their decision, you can request a full board review of your case.
Appealing A Board Review
In the event that the board denies your workers’ comp benefits after reviewing your initial appeal, you may appeal again in the Appellate Division.
An appeal of the panel’s decision must be made within 30 days to the Appellate Division, Third Department, Supreme Court of the State of New York. To appeal the decision made by the Appellate Division, you would need to go through the Court of Appeals.
Hiring A Lawyer
All injured workers who are filing for workers’ compensation have the right to an attorney at any point in the application or appeals process.
In addition helping answer your questions about Workers’ Compensation, an attorney can help you navigate the complicated claims process and help with an appeal if necessary.
In fact, research has shown that hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer can help improve an injured worker’s chances of obtaining benefits.
It is important for injured workers to understand that an attorney is not allowed to request a fee for the legal services performed. Instead, the Judge or Board Panel reviewing the claim determines a reasonable fee for legal services which is deducted from any compensation awarded.
Injured and out of work? Call us today at (866) 205-2415.
While the law does not require you to have legal counsel when filing for workers’ compensation benefits or appealing a workers’ comp decision, it can be very helpful to do so.
Many injured are unable to obtain the benefits that they need because they make a mistake in the claims process or do not seek legal help when filing an application.
The Disability Guys have been helping injured workers to obtain workers’ compensation, Social Security Disability Insurance and other types of financial support for decades.
We have the experience necessary to fight the most difficult of cases. Whether you are just beginning the Workers’ Compensation application process, or are considering appealing an unfavorable decision, we are here to help.
Contact us today at (866) 205-2415 for a free consultation on your legal options.