4 common questions about the New York workers' compensation system

There are several questions injured employees may have about the workers' compensation system after involvement in a workplace accident.

Every year, thousands of workers in New York and across the U.S. are injured at work. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2016 alone, more than 2.9 million nonfatal workplace injuries were reported to the agency by private industry employers. After involvement in a workplace accident, many employees have questions about dealing with the workers' compensation system. Here are some of the most common questions we receive here at Silverman, Silverman & Seligman, P.C.

1. Can injured workers still receive benefits if they fail to file?

According to the New York State Workers' Compensation Board, injured employees lose their right to workers' compensation benefits and needed medical care if they do not file a claim. For this reason, injured workers should report the accident to their employer right away and file a claim for benefits as soon as possible.

2. Are all disabilities covered?

In some cases, the workers' compensation system can provide benefits for disabilities. However, only disabilities directly related to an accidental injury that occurred because of employment duties or an occupational disease qualify workers to receive these benefits.

3. Are prescription medications and drugs covered?

Prescription drugs and medications required to treat the symptoms or effects of a workplace injury are covered under the workers' compensation system. After receiving a bill for a prescription, workers should send a copy of this bill and a letter from their medical provider stating that the medication was necessary to the workers' compensation insurance career.

A new law, which was signed into action as of July of 2007, allows pharmacies to bill insurance carriers for prescriptions directly. It also requires insurance carriers to pay for the medication or reimburse injured workers within 45 days of the claim for payment.

4. What happens when a claim is contested?

When injured workers file a claim for workers' compensation benefits, the insurance carrier may contest this action. If this occurs, the carrier will file notice of controversy with the New York State Workers' Compensation Board stating why they will not pay the claim. Later on, a workers' compensation judge will resolve the issue at a hearing.

Those who have their workers' compensation claim contested in New York may have concerns about how to handle the legal process moving forward and present their case effectively at a hearing. When this occurs, injured workers should contact the attorneys at Silverman, Silverman & Seligman, P.C. for legal assistance.