When a worker is injured in New York, that worker may be entitled to workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation helps to cover costs associated with work-related injuries, including lost wages, medical expenses and other costs. This compensation may be one of the only ways that injured workers are able to support themselves and their families following a workplace accident.

It is the responsibility of New York businesses to obtain workers’ compensation insurance so that workers’ compensation coverage will be available to workers should an accident occur. However, some businesses choose to rely on self-insured trusts for their insurance. In some cases, these trusts become insolvent and workers are left without benefits.

In order to ensure that workers are receiving the workers’ compensation that they need and deserve, the state of New York has begun issuing bonds. These bonds are used to purchase insurance policies for workers when a business was a part of a failed group self-insured trust. The businesses are then responsible for paying back these bonds at a low interest rate over the next 10 years.

This bond program is part of the 2013 Business Relief Act. So far, $370 million in bonds have been given to help businesses pay for their employees’ workers’ compensation benefits. Under the Business Relief Act, up to $900 million in bonds can be sold.

This program ensures that employers are able to meet their workers’ compensation insurance obligations. It does not, however, relieve an employer from liability should an accident occur. New York workers should remember that they may be entitled to benefits if they are injured at work. While this insurance may be expensive for employers, it is vital for employees. Employees should make sure they know their legal rights when fighting for workers’ compensation.

Source: WBNG, “Gov. Cuomo announces $370 million in bonds to resolve workers compensation claims,” Dec. 20, 2013