Workers’ compensation is a no-fault federal program regulated by the state of New York. Employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Injured employees are entitled to benefits, regardless of fault for the accident or injury.
Workers sometimes encounter obstacles in trying to collect workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ comp policies are purchased from private insurance companies that are in business for profit and not in a hurry to pay out for claims. If you are having trouble collecting benefits, contact an experienced Brooklyn personal injury lawyer at (212) 986-7353.
If you work for a company required to carry workers’ compensation insurance in a capacity that qualifies for workers’ comp coverage, any injury or illness you suffer in the course of your employment should qualify for benefits. This coverage applies to occupational illnesses developed over time as well as to sudden injuries from on-the-job accidents. To be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, you must give your employer written notice within 30 days of when the accident occurred, or the illness was discovered.
Workers injured on the job in New York are entitled to the following benefits through workers’ comp:
- Medical treatment for the work-related injury or illness paid by the workers’ compensation provider
- Wage reimbursement payments equal to two-thirds of your average weekly salary while you are unable to work
- Reduced earning compensation to make up for a difference in earnings resulting from partial disability
- Reimbursement for medical travel and out-of-pocket expenses related to your injury or illness
- Compensation for injury to the extremities (hands, arms, legs, or feet) or for facial scarring, even if you are still able to work
Collecting workers’ compensation benefits is a process that involves several steps:
- Get medical attention immediately after a Brooklyn workplace accident or as soon as you become aware of an occupational illness. Keep copies of all related medical records, bills, and receipts for your workers’ comp claim. Your doctor will need to complete a preliminary report and mail it to the district office of the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) within 48 hours.
- Give your employer written notice of the injury or illness as soon as possible and within 30 days. A claim submitted after this deadline can be denied. Your employer is required to submit a report to the WCB within 10 days of receiving your notice.
- File an Employee Claim (C-3) with the WCB by mailing it to the appropriate office. The time limit for filing a claim is two years from the date of the accident or the date you knew or should have known that your illness was related to your employment.
- WCB may hold one or more hearings to determine your eligibility for benefits. It will review your medical records and your employer’s report. The insurance company may require you to receive diagnostic testing through a contracted network.
- If your claim is approved, the insurance company will provide you with a written statement of your rights within 14 days of receiving your employer’s report or when your first check is issued, whichever comes first. The insurance company will pay you benefits every two weeks, beginning within 18 days of receiving the employer’s report if the injury resulted in more than seven days of lost work time.
If your claim is denied, it is in your best interests to speak with an experienced Brooklyn workers’ compensation attorney. Call Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP at (212) 986-7353.