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New York state budget includes workers' compensation changes

In a previous blog post, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's State of the State address was highlighted. That post explained the proposed changes that Gov. Cuomo wanted to see implemented to the New York workers' compensation system. Recently, some of these changes were implemented in the state's new budget.

According to Gov. Cuomo new changes were included in the state's budget that will help New York businesses save nearly $800 million each year on workers' compensation costs. These changes include a streamline collection process which will save an estimated $500 million. This savings will be seen by both self-insured employers and the state. The changes will save money by making the system more efficient and cutting back on the bureaucracy surrounding the collection of assessments.

In another money saving effort, the budget officially closes the Fund for Reopened Cases. According to the Governor's office, the fund was unnecessary and only allowed payments for certain classes of workplace accident cases. Once its closed, businesses no longer have to worry about paying in to an unnecessary fund.

Finally, the budget supposedly saves New York businesses $300 million by reducing certain workers' compensation assessments.

Under the budget, New York workers will now be able to submit claims electronically. This will save people time, money and make the entire system more efficient.

With all these changes to the workers' compensation system, it is important for New York businesses and workers alike to understand their rights and responsibilities. Businesses should make sure they understand their obligations and keep current on workers' compensation insurance. Workers, on the other hand, need to understand their legal rights to compensation following a workplace accident or illness and how to get the compensation they are entitled to.

Source: Insurance Journal, "Cuomo: Workers' Comp Reform to Bring $800M Savings to N.Y. Employers," April 10, 2013

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