Workers’ Compensation is a kind of insurance company. Most employers have to provide insurance for workers who are injured or become ill due to their work. This insurance offers medical care and a portion of the wages lost due to the inability to work. Employers pay this insurance and cannot require any payment from the worker. Benefits are then paid by the insurance company or by the employer if self-insured. Benefits must be paid as stipulated by law; the Workers’ Compensation Board guarantees the appropriate application of these rights. In exchange for receiving these benefits, the employee gives up his or her right to sue his employer in court and has to comply with the limits on benefits established by the law.
Who is covered?
- Workers in all for-profit businesses
- County and municipal workers
- Public school assistants, including those in New York City
- New York state employees, including some volunteer workers
- Domestic staff and employees who work over forty hours a week for the same employer. This includes full-time babysitters, companions, and live-in housekeepers.
- Anyone who the Board determines to be an employee
Who is not covered?
- Independent contractors
- People who are covered by federal workers’ compensation laws, including post office workers, various marine businesses workers, interstate train employees, and federal employees
- Some employees of foreign governments
- New York City police officers, firefighters, teachers, and sanitation workers, who are covered by another system
Benefits for employees
- Workers’ compensation payments are usually sent out shortly after the work-related injury or illness is reported and the appropriate forms are completed. Payments are made for two thirds of the wages received on average in the last work year.
- This insurance also covers the medical expenses and treatments needed in order to improve or restore the health of the employee.
- It doesn’t matter who was at fault when considering whether the employee will be compensated.
- Immediate family members, such as the spouse and children, may have the right to receive benefits, especially if the worker has died as a result of the injury or wound.