How Long Can I Collect Workers’ Compensation in New York?

If you have been injured on the job in New York, you may be entitled to benefits under a workers’ compensation insurance plan with your employer. There are different kinds of benefits you may receive after filing a workers’ compensation claim. If you are eligible for workers’ compensation, or you are currently receiving benefits, you may wonder how long you can receive benefits for. In New York, the amount of time you can receive workers’ compensation benefits depends on a few factors, such as the type of injury you have sustained and how permanent that injury is.

If you were injured before March 13, 2007, benefits would be paid out for however long the injury or disability lasted and wages were lost. However, any benefits for injuries after March 13, 2007, are now capped out at a maximum number of weeks, regardless of the severity of the injury of the loss of wage-earning capacity. An experienced Workers’ Compensation attorney can help you obtain the maximum benefits you are entitled to for the appropriate amount of time. Here are a few things you should know regarding workers’ compensation benefits in New York.

An Overview of Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Workers’ compensation benefits are benefits available to an employee who has been injured in a workplace injury. To claim workers’ compensation benefits, the employee must report the injury immediately to his or her employer and then file a workers’ comp claim for the injury.

Workers’ compensation includes necessary medical care for treatment of and recovery from the injury or illness.

Additionally, workers’ compensation allows for a certain amount of cash benefits dependent on how disabled the employee is after the injury or illness. Additional benefits in the form of supplemental benefits, social security benefits, and death benefits, are also available. The combination of all benefits for workers’ compensation is capped at $215 per week.

Classification of Disabilities for Workers’ Compensation

Medical and treatment costs are paid immediately and do not depend on the length or classification of the injury. Cash benefits are paid to claimants who are partially disabled and unable to work for more than seven days. The New York State Workers’ Compensation Board provides categories of disability. Cash benefits are calculated on a percentage basis of the employee’s wages, and the amount of weeks that cash benefits may be paid to an employee is determined by what is called the loss of wage-earning capacity. The loss of wage-earning capacity is typically determined by the treating worker’s comp physician, the workers’ compensation insurance company, and definitions under New York law.

Temporary Partial Disability

The employee has lost his or her wage-earning capacity partially, and only on a temporary basis. Benefits are available for a certain number of weeks based on the employee’s loss of wage-earning capacity.

Temporary Total Disability

The employee has totally lost his or her wage-earning capacity, but temporarily. Cash benefits are available for a maximum number of weeks that is based on the employee’s loss of wage-earning capacity.

Permanent Partial Disability

The employee has lost part of his or her wage-earning capacity on a permanent basis. There are two types of permanent partial disability

  • Schedule Loss of Use (SLU): Loss of use of an upper or lower extremity (such as a leg, arm, wrist, ankle, etc.), or permanent loss of eyesight or hearing. Cash benefits is limited to a number of weeks based on the body part and how severe the disability is.
  • Non-Schedule: Permanent disability that is not a scheduled loss of use injury (e.g. lungs, brain, heart, spine, etc.) Benefits are based on the employee’s loss of wage-earning capacity.

When the employee reaches maximum medical improvement (MMI), the severity of the employee’s disability is determined. MMI is presumed under New York law to max out at two years after the date of the injury.

Permanent Total Disability

The wage-earning capacity is lost permanently and totally. In this case, there is no limit on the amount of weeks workers’ compensation may be paid to the employee.

Disfigurement

Serious and permanent disfigurement to the face, head or neck may allow the employee to be compensated up to $20,000, depending on when the employee was injured.

How Long Can I Claim Workers’ Comp Benefits under New York Law?

  • If the workplace accident or date of disablement was on or after March 13, 2007, the maximum number of weeks that benefits are payable is determined by the employee’s loss of wage-earning capacity. The New State Workers’ Compensation Board provides the following maximum time limits for cash benefits per percentage of wage-earning loss:
  • 95-100%: 525 weeks
  • 90-95%: 500 weeks
  • 85-90%: 475 weeks
  • 80-85%: 450 weeks
  • 75-80%: 425 weeks
  • 70-75%: 400 weeks
  • 60-70%: 375 weeks
  • 50-60%: 350 weeks
  • 40-50%: 300 weeks
  • 30-40%: 275 weeks
  • 15-30%: 250 weeks
  • 0-15%: 225 weeks

Statute of Limitations for Claiming Workers’ Compensation Benefits

New York contains statutory maximums under the law that bar a workers’ compensation claim after a certain time frame. This means you only have a certain amount of time to file your workers’ compensation claim after your injury before you are unable to do so under the law. New York Law requires employees to report the accident within 30 days of its occurrence. If you develop other injuries from the injury, you have up to two years to file a claim. Specifically, the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board provides the statutory maximum for filing a claim as:

  • Two years from the date of the disability; or
  • Two years from the time the employee should have known about the disability.

It is extremely important to report workplace injuries right away and to seek medical treatment and legal advice so that you are not barred from receiving any benefits you are rightfully entitled to.

Contact an Experienced New York Workers’ Comp Attorney Today!

Don’t rely on the preliminary workers’ compensation determination without doing your research. An experienced workers comp attorney in New York can interpret the laws to your benefit, and make sure you receive the maximum amount of benefits you are entitled to. I

f you have been injured in a workplace injury, don’t let an insurance company minimize your injuries and shortchange your benefits. A New York expert workers’ compensation attorney can walk you through the process, and make sure you get the benefits and treatment you rightfully deserve.