Can I Get Benefits for an Off-the-Job Injury?

Posted By Katz Leidman Grossman Wolfe & Freund || 20-May-2015

If you are an employee who has suffered an off-the-job injury or illness, you may be wondering if there is any way that you can receive compensation while you are recovering.

In New York, when a wage earner has been disabled due to an off-the-job injury or illness, they may be entitled to disability benefits to replace a portion of the wages lost due to their injuries or illness, even though it was not job-related.

Qualifying unemployed workers can also receive disability benefits to replace the unemployment insurance benefits lost due to the injury or illness.

Do employers pay the benefits?

Employers provide benefits under a disability benefits plan, or by a plan negotiated and accepted by the Chair of the Workers' Compensation Board under the disability benefits law.

Employers are allowed to collect contributions from their employees to offset the cost of providing disability benefits, however, they are not required.

An employer may pay the entire cost of the plan, or in other plans the employee may be required to contribute 60 cents per a week. If an employee is required to contribute, then their employer must pay the rest of the insurance.

Disability Benefits Are Cash Benefits Only

Disability benefits only include cash benefits, they do not cover medical expenses. In the case of an off-the-job injury or illness, the claimant is responsible for their medical costs. Medical care is not paid for by the employer or the insurance carrier.

Who is entitled to disability benefits?

  • Employees who have worked for a minimum of four consecutive weeks.
  • Employees whose employer has elected to provide benefits and has filed an Application for Voluntary Coverage.
  • Employees who have switched jobs from one covered employer to another.
  • A domestic or personal employee who works at least 40 hours a week for the same employer.

Who is NOT entitled to benefits?

  • Minor children of an employer.
  • Farm, railroad and government workers.
  • Religious workers such as ministers, priests and rabbis.

Qualified employees who have an injury or illness that is not job-related are entitled to cash benefits that are 50% of their average weekly wage, but not more than the maximum benefit allowed. The maximum benefit allowed for a disability is $170 a week.

You have just 30 days from the date that you became disabled to file the claim. Additionally, you must be under the care of a doctor, chiropractor, podiatrist, psychologist, or certified nurse midwife to qualify for disability benefits.

To learn more about disability and workers' compensation benefits, contact a New York City workers' compensation lawyer from Katz, Leidman, Grossman, Wolfe & Freund today!