New York Workers’ Compensation Benefits Hardly Enough for Injured Employees
New York expects a lot from employers. The state is making demands of employers, asking them to increase wages for the lowest-paid workers and include paid vacation days as part of employee benefit packages. All the while, the state is doing next to nothing to increase workers’ compensation benefits for those injured on the job.
New York’s workers’ compensation program is meant to provide monetary benefits to workers who get hurt at work, or the families of those who are killed in the workplace. Each state has their own system in place. Employers pay into the system by buying insurance. This insurance is then paid out to affected employees.
In New York, 115,000 are injured at work every year. This does not include those killed on the job. Workplace fatalities are at their highest numbers in two decades due to an increase in construction site deaths.
New York is an expensive place to live, but the weekly workers’ compensation wages do not reflect this. The minimum payout is just $150, which cannot even buy groceries for a family. Ideally, an injured worker should receive 67% of their lost income through the program, but that’s in a best-case scenario. Obtaining this compensation is far from easy. Many hurdles are in place, especially for immigrants, even though they have the right to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
It’s not that the insurance companies are losing money. On the contrary, profits rose by 92% between 2014 and 2017. Payouts stayed the same, accounting for just 55% of premiums.
What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?
Workers’ compensation is meant to provide two-thirds of your weekly wage. For example, if you earn $1,000 a week, you should receive up to $667 a week in benefits. Benefits should also cover your medical expenses as well as travel expenses to doctor’s appointments.
This can be difficult, considering that New York is one of the priciest states to live in. In 2018, the state ranked #4. While Manhattan is the most expensive area in New York, prices are high across the state, with the average home price topping $1.7 million.
Not everyone is eligible for workers’ compensation, but most workers are. All employees of for-profit businesses and employees of most not-for-profit employers are eligible. There is no residency requirement, so even those deemed illegal can receive benefits if they are injured while on the job.
A person who suffers a workplace injury should notify their manager as soon as possible. They should also seek medical treatment and file a claim with the state Workers’ Compensation Board.
Contact Us for More Information About Workers’ Compensation Benefits
While workers’ compensation benefits are available for injured New Yorkers, the amounts are paltry compared to other states. A person may receive only a small percentage of their wages, adding insult to injury.
Make sure you obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries. White Plains workers’ compensation attorney Michael Lawrence Varon can help. He will fight for your rights with aggressive representation. Call (914) 228-1770 or fill out the online form to schedule a consultation.