Most people have heard of workers’ compensation. It is a form of insurance most employers are required to carry which provides benefits to workers who are injured on the job. It acts as a sort of financial safety net for any employee who is unable to work and concerned about keeping themselves and their family afloat.
Despite how important and helpful workers’ comp is, most people are in the dark on what specifically it provides benefits for. In New York, workers’ compensation provides funds for many things; we will dig into the details of three of the main categories.
Remember that even though it is designed to help workers, workers’ compensation is still insurance, and insurance companies are usually most concerned about their bottom line. Enlisting the help of an experienced attorney is the best way to receive the largest award possible, as quickly as possible.
Workers’ compensation provides cash benefits to employees who are totally or partially disabled by injury or illness once per week. How much you receive is based on your weekly wages in the previous year. That amount is then put through this formula:
.66 x average weekly wage x % of disability = weekly cash benefit
This means you will receive 2/3 of your weekly wage times how disabled you are; totally disabled being 100 percent. For example, if you earned $500 per week last year and are fully disabled, you would receive $330 per week.
Workers’ compensation also covers all medical bills you receive for treatment related to your injury. This includes many expensive treatments, including:
- Diagnostic tests
- Prescription medicine
- Hospital stays
Your care provider must have been authorized by the Workers’ Compensation Board, so you may have to change physicians.
If a worker passes away due to their injury, then their spouse receives their weekly cash benefits. If they are unmarried and do not have minor children, the benefit moves on to other dependents as defined by the law. In the event that there is no one to receive the benefit, their estate may receive $50000.
Workers’ compensation provides many types of benefits to workers across all vocations and roles. Each situation and injury is different, which is why speaking to a professional is the best way to learn what types of financial benefits may be available to you. There’s no shame in making use of workers’ comp. It’s a resource for employees in need, all you have to do is seize it.