Workers’ compensation in New York: What you need to know

After a workplace accident occurs, employees must follow several specific steps in order to ensure they remain eligible for benefits.

According to the New York State Workers' Compensation Board, workers' compensation is a form of insurance that provides workers with medical care and financial benefits if they become injured while performing their required duties or incur an illness as a result of their employment. In these cases, employees are eligible to receive these benefits regardless of whether they were at fault for the accident or if the accident was caused by their employer's negligence. However, employees who become injured or find themselves unable to work and wish to receive workers' compensation benefits must take certain steps following a workplace accident in order to obtain them.

After the accident occurs

Immediately after a workplace accident occurs, the NYSWCB states that employees must perform the following actions:

  • Obtain necessary medical care to treat their injuries
  • Tell their supervisor about the accident and how it happened
  • Give their employer written notice of the accident within 30 days after it occurs
  • Mail the Board on Form Employee Claim (C-3) form to their appropriate district office

Once injured workers have taken these steps, there are certain tasks their employer, doctor and the insurer need to complete for these benefits to be processed. For instance, their doctor has 48 hours after the accident occurs to complete and mail a preliminary medical report, known as the Form Doctor's Initial Report (C-4), to the district office and then provide copies of it to the injured employee and the employer's insurance carrier.

Once benefits are obtained

Employees may start to receive compensation for their injuries within 18 days after the insurer receives the employer's report of an injury or illness, unless the claim is being disputed. During this time period, the employer is also required to notify the board if payments have started or why compensation has not yet been provided, states the NYSWCB.

If payments have been approved, employees will receive compensation every two weeks and their employer's insurer will notify the workers' compensation board if any changes to this payment schedule have been made. Every 45 days after injured workers continue to receive payments, their doctor will need to submit a progress report to the board. If payments continue to be provided 12 weeks after the payment process has started, the insurer will need to consider whether or not rehabilitation treatment is necessary.

Although the claims process for workers' compensation benefits is fairly straightforward, workers may find that their employer wishes to dispute their claim after an accident. When this occurs, employees should speak with an attorney in their area who can ensure their rights to fair and proper compensation are protected.

Keywords: workplace, site, accident, injury, workers' compensation