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What Happens If I Get Hurt On the Job?

Your employer must provide a safe workplace. However, accidents occur in even the safest workplaces. If you are injured on the job tell your manager or a human resources representative immediately to ensure your rights are protected.

Workers’ Compensation

www.wcb.state.ny.us

Workers’ Compensation is a state-administered insurance benefit for workers who suffer work-related injury or illness. The injury or illness need not occur in the employer’s workplace if it is incurred during the performance of work duties (for example, while making deliveries for the employer).

In order to be eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits your work-related injury or illness must prevent you from returning to work at your usual wage. In some cases, spouses and children of a worker who dies in a work-related accident are eligible to receive Workers’ Compensation benefits.

Workers’ Compensation can take several forms:
  1. Cash Benefits: are paid to claimants after seven days of total or partial disability due to a work-related injury or illness. The amount you are eligible for is based on your average weekly wage for the previous year.
  2. The following formula is used to calculate benefits:
    • 2/3 x average weekly wage x % of disability = weekly benefit
      The amount you are paid also relies on when you were injured.
  3. Supplemental Benefits: are available to claimants who were injured before January 1, 1979. This additional cash payment helps offset cost-of-living increases over time.
  4. Medical Benefits: costs of necessary medical care directly related to the original injury or illness, or to recovery from the disabling condition, are covered by Workers’ Compensation. The treating health care provider must be authorized by the Workers’ Compensation Board, except in an emergency situation.
  5. Death Benefits: if an employee dies in an on-the-job accident, the surviving spouse and/or minor children are entitled to weekly cash benefits. The amount is equal to two-thirds of the deceased worker’s average weekly wage for the year before the accident.

(Additionally, Social Security Disability Benefits may be payable if the worker is permanently unable to work or unable to work for a continuous period of not less than 12 months, see www.ssa.gov for more information.)

Workers’ Compensation is a no fault insurance benefit, meaning that the employer may NOT decrease the amount paid to a worker even if the injury or illness was the result of worker carelessness. Benefits may be denied if you were intoxicated or under the influence of illegal drugs when the workplace accident occurred.

Independent Contractors are not considered employees, so are not eligible for Workers’Compensation benefits.For more information, see the New York State Workers’ Compensation website at www.wcb.state.ny.us.