What is Workers’ Compensation?

When you are injured at work, your lost wages make supporting yourself and your family seem impossible. There is, however, a system in place that is designed to help ease that burden. Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that most employers are required to carry for workers who are injured or become ill because of their jobs. If you are injured or become ill because of work, you are entitled to benefits under the Workers’ Compensation Law. An injured worker cannot sue their employer but, in New York State, there are other legal avenues you can take. An experienced attorney can help you recover your losses through Workers’ Compensation or suing a third party. Before you begin the process of filing a claim, it is important to understand what you’re required to do and whether or not you are covered through Workers’ Compensation.

Do I have to pay?

Employers pay for Workers’ Compensation and may not ask you to contribute anything. The benefits will be paid by an insurance provider or by the employer if it insures itself. If the insurer agrees that the incident that caused you harm is work related, or if the Workers’ Compensation Board orders it, the claim will be paid. You should know, however, that the employer or insurer may dispute the claim if, for example, they don’t believe the incident really occurred at work. If this happens, the Board will try to resolve it within 90 days. Nobody needs to be found at fault for you to receive your benefits and you don’t need to lose time from work to file a claim. However, workers do lose the right to benefits if the injury is because of drug or alcohol use or because of an intent to injure themselves or someone else.

Am I covered?

The people who are covered under workers’ compensation are:

  • Workers in all for-profit businesses
  • County and municipal employees
  • Public school aides and New York City shop teachers
  • New York State employees and some volunteers
  • Domestic workers (full-time sitters, companions, and live-in maids) employed at least 40 hours a week by the same employer
  • Farm workers whose employer paid at least $1200 for farm labor in the previous calendar year
  • Anyone else the Board determines is an employee
Religious, educational, or charitable nonprofits may choose to cover their clergy and teachers. If you are a domestic worker who works fewer than 40 hours a week and does not live in your employer’s residence, your employer may still choose to cover you, but it isn’t mandatory.

What do I do?

Navigating Workers’ Compensation can be confusing. Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria will work with you to understand your situation and help you through the claims process from beginning to end. Insurance companies have a lot of money and resources, and it’s their goal not to pay the maximum amount to injured workers. Our team has the resources to face the insurance companies and help you get the best possible results. Contact Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria today and let us guide and protect you throughout the process.

This article does not purport to give legal advice and is for informational purposes only.

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