Worker’s Compensation Faqs

I am an employer and do not have Workers Compensation insurance. One of my employees who I paid off the books has filed a claim against me. Can you help me?

We defend businesses against workers’ compensation claims and other alleged employment violations. Our firsthand understanding of claimant practice has prepared us to vigorously protect businesses that are facing penalties and claims.

Can I apply for benefits from my injury on September 11 via the Zadroga Act, even though I recieved a settlement already from the original victims fund?

In a significant surprise, the new rules permit the “amendment” of prior Victim Compensation Fund claims made under the original Fund, which closed in December 2003. For example, a claimant who received compensation under the original Fund for “asthma”, but who since has since developed a new 9/11 related condition such as “interstitial lung disease”, can  now “amend” his old claim for additional compensation. Similarly, if the prior Victim Compensation Fund compensation recipient’s condition has “substantially worsened”, that claimant can now apply for additional compensation.

Therefore, all claimants who collected for injuries from the prior VCF should consult a Zadroga Act attorney such as Harris Law Group, LLP today to see if they are eligible for additional compensation.

I have been classified by the Workers Compensation Board as having a Permanent Partial Disability. Do I have an obligation to look for work? What if I am currently recieving temporary partial payments?

Yes.  On May 1, 2012,  the Court of Appeals issued its long-awaited decision in Zamora on the issue of what constitutes voluntary withdrawal from the labor market. The Court of Appeals reversed the Appellate Court, thus affirming the original Board decision, finding that the Board is not required to make the inference that physical limitations caused by her established workers compensation-related injury are the cause of post-accident wage losses. You must make every effort to look for work within your medical restrictions.

Partial disability means that you have the ability to do some kind of work, even if you can’t do your prior job. To keep receiving your benefit payments you must either return to work within the limits of your work restrictions or be actively looking for work.

What if I am never able to return to work due to my injury?

We will try to help you obtain ongoing payments from the workers compensation carrier to compensate you for your lost wages. In addition, our office has the advantage of an established Social Security Disability department working side-by-side with the Workers Compensation department. If you are out of work for six months with the expectation to be out at least another six months you are eligible to apply for Social Security benefits. These benefits supplement the difference between what you recieve in workers compensation benefits and what you were earning when you were injured.

I was injured on the job, but the injury was caused by someone with no connection to my employer. What are my rights?

You may still have the right to receive workers’ compensation benefits. In addition, you may be able to bring a separate lawsuit against the party who caused your injuries. Our firm has the benefit of a seperate personal injury department, so on each and every case that comes to our office we make sure that you consult with an attorney with experience in this area of the law, to learn exactly what your rights are in this situation.

My employer and I disagree about my worker’s compensation benefits. What can I do?

The workers’ compensation laws provide an opportunity for a hearing if you and your employer, or your employer’s insurer can’t resolve a dispute. While it is not required, it is a good idea to be represented by an attorney at this hearing.

Are workers’ compensation benefits taxed in New York?

No

Who chooses the doctor that I see?

You have the right to see any doctor you wish, assuming that the provider accepts workers compensation insurance. Never go to a doctor your employer recommends.

What do I do if have been injured on the job?

Your first step should be to report your injury to your employer as soon as possible after your injury. You should be told who receives your report: your supervisor, your foreperson, or your employer’s human resource office.

Although the law calls for written notification, as a practical matter, usually a verbal report is all you need to make, and the report does not have to be followed up in writing. Notification must be given within thirty days so if you have any questions about whether your employer is taking the appropriate measures or whether an exception applies, consult a lawyer immediately. If you are in need of medical care or treatment, you should see a workers compensation coded doctor of your choice as soon as possible, advising the doctor that you have a job-related condition or injury.

Can I sue my boss for my injury?

Generally, no. You cannot sue your boss in New York State. However, if your boss did not have workers compensation insurance, you have a right to elect your remedy………you may collect workers compensation under the Uninsured Employers Fund, or sue your employer directly.

What if my boss has no insurance?

In NY State every employer is required under the law to obtain workers compensation insurance. If your employer for some reason does not have insurance, there is an Uninsured Employers Fund that is set up for such situations.

Who pays workers’ compensation benefits?

Your employer is required either to carry worker’s compensation insurance, or to be self-insured. Your employer’s insurer is the one responsible for making payments to you.

What do I receive for my injuries?

In New York, the injured worker can receive up to a maximum of $600 per week for lost salary. In some cases, the law allows for cash settlements even if you have not lost any time from work. The law also authorizes treatment and payment of the medical bills that relate to your injury.

What kinds of injuries are covered?

Almost any kind of physical injury or disease is covered by workers’ compensation. Even an injury or condition you already had will qualify if it was aggravated or made worse due to your job.

What if I work off the books, or have no Social Security number? What if I am not a US citizen?

All workers are covered by Workers Compensation in NY, whether you get paid cash, check, on the books or off. You do not need to be a NY citizen

What is workers’ compensation?

Workers’ compensation laws allow workers who are injured in the course of their employment to be compensated for their injuries without having to resort to a traditional lawsuit, or court proceedings. An injured worker does not have to prove that his or her employer was negligent, or at fault for the injury, only that the injury happened in the course of the worker’s employment. Unless someone other than your employer was liable for your injuries, workers’ compensation is generally your sole remedy for your injuries.