New York Workers' Compensation is an intricate area of law that is often subject to a number of misconceptions. This site is intended to help readers seeking clarification on the topic of NY Workers' Comp. Whether you are an injured worker lost amidst the complexities of Workers' Comp, a doctor who is not sure how to properly handle a Workers' Comp patient's file, or simply a curious New Yorker who worries about what would happen if you were ever injured on the job, I hope that the content of this site will deliver the answers you seek, even to questions you didn't know to ask.

It is my pleasure to welcome you into the world of New York Workers' Compensation. I hope you enjoy your visit, spread the word, and come back soon.

Best regards,

Camila P. Medici, Esq.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Are Strokes and Heart Attacks Covered By NY Workers' Compensation Insurance?

Technically, yes.  BUT these are VERY difficult to prove.  You would have to show that your employer put you through extreme and unusual mental or physical stress that directly led you to have a heart attack or stroke, and that has to be well documented in your medical report as well.  The good news is that even if you had a prior heart condition or other risk factor not associated with your job you could still get compensated by comp.  But because these are some of the most difficult claims to establish you definitely will need an attorney's help and not every attorney will be willing to take this type of case. 

Are Injuries At Company Sponsored Events Covered By NY Workers' Compensation?

YES!  Generally speaking, if you are injured while attending a company sponsored event in NY you will be covered by workers' compensation insurance.  But you must be mindful that the same usual exceptions, such as accidents as a result of alcohol intoxication, physical fighting, etc or if the injury occurs after the event has finished - all cases in which you may not be covered by comp.  Make sure you file a claim as soon as possible and if anyone is a witness to the accident get their contact information.  Witnesses are protected and your employer cannot retaliate against them for testifying in a comp claim. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Are NY Workers' Compensation Benefits Taxable?

NO!!!   If you are receiving workers' comp benefits in NY then note that your benefits are generally not taxable for income tax purposes.  If you are receiving SSD though those benefits are taxable, and you will receive a 1099 from the Federal Government.  There are situations where your social security disability benefits are lowered due to workers' comp but you pay tax in the whole social security amount - something called a back door tax - so you should definitely speak with an SSD attorney to get your answers regarding whether to apply to SSD benefits. 

What Does "Reserved Decision" Mean in NY Workers' Comp?

Reserved Decision means that the Judge has not yet made up his mind, but will write his ruling after having time to review all the evidence.  Usually, from practice, it means he will find against the Claimant and does not want to say so in front of the Claimant at a hearing.  BUT sometimes it has nothing to do with that and all to do with still needing more time to review the entire record.  The judge then files a written decision.

If I Return to Work After a Work-Related Injury But Work Part-Time Only or Make Less Money, Am I Still Entitled to Workers' Comp Benefits?

YES, so long as your decreased paycheck is because of your work-related injury, meaning that you can only now work part time or in a different position because of your work injury.  You will need medical reports saying you have work restrictions, BUT you will be able to receive 2/3 of the difference between what you used to make prior to the accident and what you are making now up to the statutory maximum rate of benefits for your date of injury.

If My Doctor Says I Have A Work Related Disability, Am I Automatically Entitled to Benefits?

Unfortunately, NO.  It is not that simple.  Even though NY Workers' Compensation Law requires that you produce a medical report showing that you have a causally related diagnosed injury or condition AND saying that you are disabled from work (and the specific level of disability you have), that is just ONE part of the administrative process.  In order to determine whether you are entitled to benefits there are other factors that must be taken into account, such as whether there was proper notice given, whether you truly are an employee, whether there is contrary medical evidence (such as an IME) saying you are not disabled or that your disability is not causally related, etc.  So although you MUST have a medical report indicating you have a causally related disability from work that will not automatically entitle you to comp benefits. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Do NY Workers' Compensation Wage Loss Benefits Ever Get Adjusted For Inflation or Cost of Living As Time Passes?

NO!!!!  They do not.  In NY weekly wage loss benefits are based on your average weekly wage at the time of your accident, and the rate of benefits is also fixed by the cap amount correspondent to your date of injury.  So even though the cap increases every July, you do not get an increase unless you have a new accident and therefore a new date corresponding to a new cap.  There is nothing your attorney or the Judge can do to change that fact.  The only way to change the law is through the legislature passing new reform.