When an employee sustains an injury or occupational illness while on the job, it is important for them to know that there is a system in place that can provide them with relief while they are unable to return to work. This is known as workers’ compensation insurance. Continue reading below to learn more.

What is Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation is insurance that provides employees with cash benefits and/or medical care in the event that they become injured or ill directly because of their job. This insurance is paid by employers and does not require the employee to contribute to the cost of compensation. It is owed in weekly cash benefits and medical care from the employer’s insurance carrier, as directed by the Workers’ Compensation Board. 

In these cases, neither the employer or the employee is determined to be at fault. A claim is paid if an employer or insurance carrier agrees the injury or illness was work-related. If either party disputes the claim, no benefits are paid until a workers’ compensation law judge decides if benefits are owed. 

Who is Covered by Workers’ Compensation Law?

Under New York State workers’ compensation law, virtually all employers in the state must provide workers’ compensation coverage for their employees. The following employees must be covered:

  • Workers in all employments conducted for-profit. Part-time employees, borrowed employees, leased employees, family members and volunteers working for a for-profit business. 
  • Employees of counties and municipalities engaged in work defined by the law as “hazardous:
  • Public school teachers, excluding those employed by New York City, and public school aides, including New York City
  • Employees of the State of New York, including some volunteer workers
  • Domestic workers employed forty or more hours per week by the same employer, including full-time sitters or companions, and live-in maids
  • Farm workers
  • Any other worker determined by the Board to be an employee and not specifically excluded from coverage under the WCL
  • All corporate officers if the corporation has more than two officers and/or two stockholders
  • Officers of one-or-two person corporations if there are other individuals in employment. These officers can choose to exclude themselves from coverage. 
  • Most workers compensated by a nonprofit organization
  • Volunteer firefighters and volunteer ambulance workers are provided benefits for death or injuries suffered in the line of duty under the Volunteer Firefighters’ Benefit Law and Volunteer Ambulance Workers’ Benefit Law

How do I File a Claim?

When an employee becomes injured on the job, they should complete the Board’s form Employee Claim (C-3) as soon as possible. This ensures their benefits are not delayed or interrupted. In addition to this, be sure to immediately notify your employer of the incident in writing, including where, when, and how you became injured or ill. 

It is important to remember that a claim can be filed within two years of the accident or within two years after the employee knew their injury or illness was related to their employment. Failure to do so can result in the loss of workers’ compensation benefits.

Contact our Firm

The Law Offices of George Poulos is an experienced Workers’ Compensation, personal injury, and Social Security Disability law firm with offices in Queens and the Bronx. We understand the implications of a serious accident, which is why we take pride in tenaciously representing our clients. If you require strong legal representation, contact our firm today to schedule a free consultation.