How Long Can You Stay Out On Workers’ Comp?

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After a work injury occurs, you might be wondering how much time you’re allowed to take off while collecting Workers’ compensation benefits. The amount of time allotted will vary by state. If you’ve been injured or gotten sick due to a work-related incident in New York that is causing you to miss work, you’ll want to talk to an experienced attorney to help you navigate the complicated process of filing for and collecting workers’ comp benefits.

The attorneys at Terry Katz and Associates have been fighting hard to see New Yorkers get the workers’ comp benefits since 1992. We understand the difficulties associated with trying to physically recover while worrying about paying your bills. Our attorneys are well-versed in New York State’s Workers’ Comp laws and are able to help you to get what you need. Call our law firm at 888-488-7459 or complete the contact form today to receive a free legal consultation with one of our knowledgeable lawyers.

What is Workers’ Compensation?

Workers who are hurt during the course of their work hours or duties often have injuries that can take a long time to recover from or they may need permanent disability benefits. According to the most recent data published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in New York, more than 140,000 non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses (private industry employers) were reported in 2018 alone. This equates to 2.2 cases per 100 full-time equivalent workers.

Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that provides cash benefits and/or medical care to people who are hurt or sick as a direct result of their job.

This insurance covers expenses such as:

  • Medical care from injury or illness
  • Ongoing treatments (including chiropractic and physical therapy)
  • Partial wages to replace wages lost from time off work
  • Funeral expenses

Workers’ Comp insurance is also designed to provide a financial benefit to the family of a worker who didn’t survive an accident, illness, or experienced other injuries. 

Personal injuries not related to a work incident are not eligible to claim workers’ compensation benefits.

Does My Employer Have to Carry Workers’ Comp Insurance?

In New York State, all employers are required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance. If an employer doesn’t maintain this insurance, they are in violation of the law. As a result, they can be sued for any hospitalizations, medical bills, or other expenses associated with a work-related injury or illness.

In the event an employer does violate New York State law, the business owner, partners, president, secretary, and treasurer of an organization or business can be held personally liable. Additionally, the penalty for not carrying this insurance is $2,000 per 10-day period of noncompliance, along with any expenses an injured worker incurs from an injury.

Do Employees Pay a Portion of Workers’ Comp Coverage?

Anytime an injury occurs where workers’ comp is warranted, you should seek medical treatment immediately, get documentation of your injury or illness from your health care provider, inform your employer within 30 days, and file for compensation benefits. (If your employer doesn’t provide you with the compensation information, you can file online on your own or have an attorney complete the forms for you).

Workers’ Comp claims are processed by The Workers’ Compensation Board, which is a state agency. Most events happening on the job are covered and a worker (nor employer) is assigned fault. The exception is if the employee is found to be intoxicated or had the intention to injure themselves or someone else. If an employer disputes a work-related injury or illness claim, a judge specializing in these claims will rule on the case.

How Long Can You Stay Out On Workers’ Comp?

How long workers can collect compensation benefits varies from state to state. Under New York State law, you can file a claim two years from the date your injury or illness occurred, or two years from the time you should have known you suffered an injury or illness. The length of time you can stay out on workers’ comp is determined by the disability classification designated by your health care provider.

Essentially, your medical provider will “rate” your disability level and the amount of compensation and the length of time you’ll be eligible for these benefits will directly correlate with your healthcare giver’s rating. You’ll receive one of the following four disability ratings.

  • Temporary Total Disability: Wage-earning abilities are lost completely, but only temporarily.
  • Temporary Partial Disability: Partial wage-earning abilities are lost, but only temporarily.
  • Permanent Total Disability: Wage-earning capacity is totally and completely lost (no limit on the number of weeks to collect. The amount may change depending on if the employee can work in a different type of job).
  • Permanent Partial Disability: Wage-earning capacity is permanently lost, but long-term benefits are determined by the nature of the permanent injury and the area of the body affected. Two years after the injury, whatever severity of the injury the employee has sustained, this will be considered to be “maximum medical improvement.” (MMI)

The NYS Workers’ Compensation Board outlines any work-related disabilities occurring on or after March 13, 2007, are eligible for benefits for a maximum number of weeks. This amount is determined by how much money an employee loses when they can’t go to work and earn their regular wages.  The length of time you can stay out on workers’ compensation will range from 225 to 525 weeks. However, the number of weeks and amount of money you can collect from workers’ comp for your work-related injury each week will vary, depending upon your individual circumstances. A workers’ comp attorney can help determine your eligibility before you file a claim.

The NYS Workers’ Compensation Board outlines any work-related disabilities occurring on or after March 13, 2007, are eligible for benefits for a maximum number of weeks. This amount is determined by how much money an employee loses when they can’t go to work and earn their regular wages.  The length of time you can stay out on workers’ compensation will range from 225 to 525 weeks. However, the number of weeks and amount of money you can collect from workers’ comp for your work-related injury each week will vary, depending upon your individual circumstances. A workers’ comp attorney can help determine your eligibility before you file a claim.

It’s also important to understand once you file your claim you may be initially denied benefits. Statistically speaking, about one-quarter of employers initially deny a claim and try not to pay for an injury their employee sustained on the job. This doesn’t mean you won’t get them in time. You do have the right to appeal this decision. If you believe your claim was wrongfully denied, you can file an appeal with the New York Workers’ Compensation Board and a hearing will be scheduled. This process is complex but it can get you the benefits you need. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you navigate the process to get the compensation you’re entitled to receive.

It’s also important to understand once you file your claim you may be initially denied benefits. Statistically speaking, about one-quarter of employers initially deny a claim and try not to pay for an injury their employee sustained on the job. This doesn’t mean you won’t get them in time. You do have the right to appeal this decision. If you believe your claim was wrongfully denied, you can file an appeal with the New York Workers’ Compensation Board and a hearing will be scheduled. This process is complex but it can get you the benefits you need. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you navigate the process to get the compensation you’re entitled to receive.

Does COVID-19 Qualify as a Workplace Injury Covered by Workers’ Comp?

If you’ve suffered from COVID-19, it’s important you talk to an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer. Under New York Compensation Law, the illness would need to qualify as a compensable “occupational disease.”

Traditionally, community-spread illnesses do not qualify as a workplace injury, but New York State currently has three different legislative bills pending that would enable some groups of workers to qualify for benefits if they can demonstrate a strong probability that they contracted COVID-19 on the job (i.e. essential and frontline workers). This is a situation very much in flux and a workers’ comp lawyer can assist you with how employment laws evolve in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

A Workers’ Comp Lawyer Can Help You Get Your Workplace Injury Benefits

After a work-related injury or illness occurs, it can feel daunting to file a claim for benefits, and the insurance company representing your employer may make you feel intimidated. A workers’ compensation lawyer can intervene with the insurance company and help you to navigate the complex claim process. They’ll help you ensure the correct paperwork is filed, along with handling any denials or other difficulties that emerge along the way as you pursue approval for disability payments.

For more than 30 years, the Terry Katz and Associates law firm has dedicated itself to helping New York workers receive the workplace injury benefits they’re entitled to by law. Our compassionate and experienced attorneys will fight for your rights. We’ll examine your situation and inform you of your legal options whether you’re filing a claim, appealing a denial, or experiencing unreasonable delays with your claim being processed.

To learn more about New York workers’ compensation law or to receive a free case evaluation, call Terry Katz and Associates today at 888-488-7459.

Terry Katz, Esq.

Terry Katz, Esq., the founding Member of the firm, handles all aspects of Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability cases.

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