When workers are injured in New York, they have the right to file for workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation can help workers with the financial effects of a workplace accident. Following an injury at work, workers’ compensation can help workers with medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitative costs and other damages. This compensation is there for workers so they can focus on their recovery and not on their bills.

However, workers’ compensation benefits are not always automatic. People often need to apply to the New York Workers’ Compensation Board to show that they are entitled to compensation. This often requires evidence to prove that worker is injured and to show the extent of the injuries. In some cases, workers must attend a hearing to appeal situations where their benefits have not been approved.

These hearings take place in a number of locations throughout the state of New York. However, the Workers’ Compensation Board has recently announced that it will close several of the customer service centers. According to the Board, by closing eight locations the state will be able to save $3 million over the next 10 years. Furthermore, they claim these changes are only being made after an extensive investigation that showed that many of the facilities that are closing were underutilized by New York workers.

While these changes may save the state money, many wonder if it will create too big of a burden on some injured workers. These people argue that by closing down smaller regional customer service centers, sick and injured workers will have to travel further to get the compensation they need and deserve. Some wonder if the burden will be so high as to violate these people’s constitutional right to due process by creating too high of a burden to exercise their rights.

New York workers who may be effected by the shut downs should understand that they still have the right to be heard. These benefits are important and could be essential to a workers’ recovery.

Source: Capital, “To cut costs, New York will close workers’ comp hearing sites,” Jimmy Vielkind, Oct. 4, 2013