Have you been injured on the job in New York? If so, you may be entitled to weekly cash benefits through your employer’s workers’ compensation plan. There are several different types of benefits you can receive when you file a workers’ compensation claim.
At Stanley Law Offices, We have helped many New Yorkers successfully obtain the full spectrum of workers’ compensation benefits they deserve. One of the most common questions we are asked is how long workers’ compensation benefits will last in New York. Under New York law, the duration of workers’ compensation benefits depends on multiple factors. We will discuss these factors below.
Loss of Wage Earning Capacity
Determining how long you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits is a complicated process. Your medical and treatment costs will be paid immediately, regardless of how injured you are or the length or classification of your injury. If you cannot work for more than seven days, you will be paid weekly cash benefits and considered partially disabled. However, the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board uses different categories of disability to determine how long you can receive benefits.
Cash benefits are calculated as a percentage based on the employee’s average wages. The number of weeks an employee can continue to receive cash benefits is determined by the loss of wage earning capacity. The board will try to determine what percentage of an employee’s earning capacity has been lost because of his or her injury. The employee’s loss of wage-earning capacity is determined by the worker’s compensation physician, definitions under New York law, and the workers’ compensation insurance company’s policies.
The More Severe The Injury, The Longer an Employee Can Receive Benefits
Typically, the more severe the injury, the higher the percentage of loss of wage-earning capacity. For example, if an employee’s arm becomes crushed by a heavy machine at work and must be amputated, the employee will no longer be able to use that arm as a construction worker. In this situation, the employee would typically have a much higher percentage of lost wage-earning capacity. As a result, the employee would be able to receive workers’ compensation benefits for much longer. When an employee has a 95% to 100% loss of earning capacity, he or she can obtain workers’ compensation benefits for 525 weeks.
On the other hand, if an employee can still work in the same field, but perhaps not in the same job, the loss of earning capacity will be lower. For example, if an employee injures a finger but can continue working, the board determines that he or she has a 15% loss of wage-earning capacity and can continue receiving workers’ compensation benefits for 225 weeks.
How Long Can I Keep Obtaining Workers’ Compensation Benefits in New York?
New York workers’ compensation laws set forth timelines for how long an employee can continue receiving workers’ compensation benefits. The maximum number of weeks that the employee can receive benefits is determined by the employee’s loss of wage-earning capacity. According to the New York Workers Compensation Board, the following maximum time limit for cash benefits per percentage of wage-earning loss are as follows:
- 95-100%: 525 weeks
- 90-95%: 500 weeks
- 85-90%: 475 weeks
- 80-85%: 450 weeks
- 75-80%: 425 weeks
- 70-75%: 400 weeks
- 60-70%: 375 weeks
- 50-60%: 350 weeks
- 40-50%: 300 weeks
- 30-40%: 275 weeks
- 15-30%: 250 weeks
- 0-15%: 225 weeks
Categories of Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Several different categories determine what type of benefits to which an employee is entitled. When an employee cannot work temporarily due to the injury, he or she can receive temporary partial disability benefits. These benefits are available for a certain number of weeks based on the loss of earning capacity.
When an employee has completely lost his or her wage-earning capacity, but only temporarily, the employee can obtain temporary total disability benefits. These cash benefits are available every week for a maximum number of weeks based on the employee’s loss of wage-earning capacity. What an employee has lost part of his or her wage-earning capacity permanently, there are two different types of permanent partial disability benefits he or she can obtain:
- Schedule Loss of Use (SLU): These types of benefits are available when an employee loses the use of an upper or lower extremity such as a leg, ankle, toe, arm, finger, etc. these benefits are also available when an employee permanently loses hearing or eyesight. Again, the cash benefits will be limited to a number of weeks based on the severity of the disability and the body part that has become unusable.
- Non-Schedule: This is a permanent disability that is not a scheduled loss-of-use injury, such as an injury to the brain, heart, spine, or lungs. These benefits will be based on the percentage of the employees’ loss of wage-earning capacity.
Under New York law, the maximum medical improvement is presumed to max out at two years after the injury day. Finally, when the employee’s wage-earning capacity is permanently and totally lost due to the injury, there is not a limit on the number of weeks the employee can receive workers’ compensation benefits.
Contact an NY Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today
When you have been injured on the job, your financial future is at stake. Obtaining the total amount of benefits you deserve is crucial for you and your family. Do not rely on the preliminary determination of how much workers’ compensation benefits you will receive. We recommend discussing your case with the skilled employment lawyers at Stanley Law Offices. We have an in-depth understanding of New York workers’ compensation laws. We will make sure you receive the maximum amount of benefits possible for as long as possible. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.