What benefits are injured workers entitled to in New York?

When people are injured at work in New York, they may be entitled to workers’ compensation, which may include medical, cash and death benefits.

Even in seemingly safe work environments or when people follow all of the appropriate protocols, workers are often injured on the job. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, New York workers suffered 149,100 work-related injuries and illnesses in 2014 alone. When such injuries are suffered in the course of their employment, people may be entitled to receive workers' compensation benefits. Often, however, injured workers do not realize their rights or what they are entitled to.

Medical benefits

Following occupational injuries, people may require medical treatment. There are often significant costs associated with such care. With few exceptions, injured workers are entitled to receive coverage for any medically necessary care for the treatment of or recovery from their injuries. This may include emergency aid, doctor appointments, surgery, occupational and physical rehabilitation, and braces. It is important to keep in mind, however, that they must receive their treatment from an authorized health care provider.

Cash benefits

While they are off of work recovering, after returning to work on limited duty or if they are left unable to work due to permanent disabilities, people may lose income. This may affect their ability to provide for themselves and their families. In addition to covering their medical bills, workers' compensation may also provide people with cash benefits.

After being off of work for seven days for a work-related injury, workers will receive weekly partial wage replacement payments. The amount they are paid is determined by multiplying their average weekly income by two-thirds and the percentage of their disability. If workers are off of work for more than 14 days, they are also receive payment for the first seven days that they are off.

Death benefits

Unfortunately, occupational injuries and illnesses are sometimes fatal. In these cases, not only are workers' families left to cope with their loss, they must also deal with being suddenly left without income and support they rely on.

When people succumb to injuries they suffer on the job, their surviving spouse and minor-aged children may be entitled to weekly cash benefits. They are awarded two-thirds of the workers' average weekly wages. This is determined based on their earnings for the prior year. Additionally, the families may also receive up to $6,000 for funeral expenses in Metropolitan New York counties and up to $5,000 in other counties throughout the state.

Seeking legal counsel

New York workers are generally entitled to workers' compensation when they are injured at work and in the course of their employment. However, obtaining these benefits is not always a straightforward process. Thus, it may benefit injured workers to consult with a lawyer. An attorney may help them understand their rights and options, as well as guide them through the claims process.