Workers: Disability Benefits for Off-the-Job Injuries

Posted By Katz Leidman Grossman Wolfe & Freund || 12-Jul-2016

In New York, most employees are aware that if they are injured in a work-related accident, or if they become ill with an occupational disease, they can file a workers’ compensation claim. But, what if you become disabled due to an off-the-job injury or illness, what do you do for compensation then?

Fortunately, when a New York worker is injured or becomes ill and the disability is not work-related, he or she may be entitled to valuable compensation through “disability benefits.”

According to the New York Workers’ Compensation Board, disability benefits are cash benefits paid to eligible workers who become disabled due to off-the-job accidents or illnesses.

Under New York’s disability benefits law, disabled wage earners can receive weekly cash benefits to replace a portion of lost wages due to an off-the-job injury or illness that was not related to their employment.

New York employers are generally allowed to collect up to 60 cents a week from employees to offset the cost of disability benefits, but employers are not required to collect this money.

While disability benefits pay cash payments to disabled employees, unlike workers’ compensation benefits, disability does not pay towards a worker’s medical care, nor is medical care paid for by the employer or their insurance carrier.

New York Disability Benefits

In New York, employers either provide disability benefits under a disability benefits plan, or they negotiate such a plan with the Chair of the Workers’ Compensation Board, under the state’s disability benefits law.

Some employers pay the entire cost of disability plans, while others require that their employees contribute more than 60 cents each week, providing there is an agreement and the employee contributions are affordable and reasonable.

Who is covered under disability?

  • Employees who have worked for at least four consecutive weeks at their jobs.
  • Employees who work for an employer who filed an Application for Voluntary Coverage.
  • Employees who went from one “covered” employer to another. “Covered” means the employee worked at least four consecutive weeks.
  • Domestic servants who work at least 40 hours a week.
  • Personal employees who work at least 40 hours a week.

Generally, the cash benefits under New York’s disability benefits program are 50 percent of the disabled person’s average weekly wage, but they cannot exceed the maximum benefit allowed under the program.

Benefits cannot be paid for more than 26 weeks during a 52-week consecutive period. The maximum benefit amount allowable under law is $170.00 per week.

Have questions about your claim?

Whether you need more information about disability or workers’ compensation benefits, or both, our New York workers’ compensation attorneys would be glad to offer you sound legal advice. Take your first step and arrange a free case evaluation!

To get started, call (888) 250-5427 today!