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Governor proposes changes to workers' compensation

In New York, employees who are injured in a workplace accident are entitled to have expenses from the accident paid for. Under the workers' compensation system, damages including medical expenses, lost wages and rehabilitative costs are covered.

On Jan. 9, New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo published his State of the State report. Within that report, Gov. Cuomo outlined several new proposals that he would like to see adopted in New York. Among these proposals were changes to the workers' compensation insurance system. Basically, Gov. Cuomo says that he wants to pass new legislation that changes workers' compensation to allow businesses to become more profitable.

As part of these changes, Gov. Cuomo would like to see more transparency and efficiency to the entire system. Some changes were adopted in 2007 that were supposed to help, but the governor says that more needs to be done. Among the changes that Gov. Cuomo suggests are closing unnecessary funds, which could help reduce costs for the state.

The governor would also like to pass legislation simplifying the assessment process. Under the current system, multiple assessments are levied against businesses for different workers' compensation funds which create a complex system with unequal fees. By simplifying the assessments, the process would be more transparent and fair to businesses. Furthermore, Gov. Cuomo wants to continue implement the 2007 changes.

While businesses in New York need to be profitable, there is a fine line between protecting business' profits and workers' rights. Any change to the workers' compensation system that is passed should not undercut the coverage that workers need. These changes should be carefully considered to make the system more efficient for both businesses and workers.

Source: Insurance Journal, "N.Y. Gov.: New Workers' Comp Legislation Will Offer Relief to Businesses," Jan. 11, 2013

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