Worker’s compensation benefits are intended, in part, to replace wages that an employee is unable to earn while recuperating from a workplace accident. In theory, those benefits should continue as long as their injuries prevent them from resuming their jobs. The reality in New York State may be quite different.

For more than 50 years, the lawyers at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green, P.C. have assisted workers in New York to receive the full amount of compensation for their job site injuries. If you have been injured on the job, a knowledgeable and experienced New York City personal injury lawyer can help you to receive the money you deserve.

What Time Limits Does New York Law Place on Workers’ Compensation Disability Benefits?

New York State enacted a law in 2007 that placed limits on the duration of disability benefits. It is based on the extent of the employee’s inability to work. If, for example, the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board determines that an employee’s earning capacity has been impaired by only 15%, that employee’s disability payments will stop after 225 weeks– slightly more than 4 years. If the employee loses their ability to work due to a permanent disability, payments will stop after 525 weeks– roughly ten years. Employees whose workplace injuries caused greater and longer-lasting disabilities will, therefore, receive payments for a longer duration.    

What Determines the Extent of a Worker’s Injuries and Disability?

New York State publishes guidelines that medical examiners use as a reference to evaluate a worker’s disability. These guidelines seek to create objective criteria that physicians can use when they evaluate injuries. However, a physician’s subjective judgment will inevitably affect a final diagnosis.

Further, insurance companies that provide worker’s compensation benefits generally retain and pay the fees for the physician, and a company doctor might have an inherent bias in favor of the company. 

Under these circumstances, a New York City construction accident lawyer can create a more level playing field for an employee. They would bring in evidence from independent medical examiners that show the full extent of the individual’s impairments and disabilities.

Is the Duration of Payments Different for Temporary and Permanent Disabilities?

Under New York State law, an employee will be deemed to suffer a permanent partial disability when they experience the loss of use of a limb, eyesight or hearing impairment– or damage or impairment to internal organs.

The overall severity of an employee’s injuries will be assessed when the employee reaches “Maximum Medical Improvement” or MMI—the point no further improvement can be expected. Apart from a physician’s MMI diagnosis, New York employees will reach MMI on the second anniversary of the date of the injury.

When Do Workers’ Compensation Disability Benefits Payments Begin?

Workers’ compensation insurance will reimburse medical costs relatively quickly. Disability benefits will not begin until after the worker’s claim application has been submitted and approved. This can take several weeks or months after the accident. In New York State, an injured worker must submit a benefits claim no later than two years after the date of the accident.

They must also notify their employer about the accident. The best opportunity to move up the start date of payments is to file a claim as soon as is possible after an accident.     

Contact Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green, P.C. today

With assistance from a knowledgeable and experienced construction accident attorney, an individual can get the compensation that they deserve for their injuries.

The construction injury attorneys at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green, P.C. represent injured workers in Manhattan, the Bronx, Long Island, Brooklyn, and elsewhere in the NYC metropolitan area. Please see our website or call us for a free case evaluation.

 Additional Resources:

  1. www.dol.gov: Workers’ Compensation. https://www.dol.gov/general/topic/workcomp
  2. www.ny.gov: Workers’ Compensation Guidelines for Determining Impairment. http://www.wcb.ny.gov/2018-Impairment-Guidelines.pdf
  3. www.ny.gov: Workers’ Compensation (On the Job Injury or Illness). http://www.wcb.ny.gov/content/main/onthejob/Discrimination.jsp