Were you injured off-the-job, in an accident that was in no way work-related? If so, you may be in luck. New York is one of the few states that require employers to provide disability benefits to employees who are injured off the job, or who suffer non-work-related illnesses.
The law that addresses off-the-job injuries is called the “Disability Benefits Law.” Under this law, employers are required to provide employees with weekly cash benefits that replace a portion of the wages lost during an injury or illness that was not work-related. Disability benefits for off-the-job injuries are covered by employers’ disability benefits insurance, or the employer may be self-insured.
HOW MUCH ARE THE BENEFITS?
Disability benefits for off-the-job injuries and illnesses are less than workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation benefits, for example, are 2/3 of the worker’s average weekly wage. On the other hand, disability benefits for off-the-job injuries and illnesses are 50 percent of the worker’s average weekly wage for the last eight weeks he or she worked. However, disability benefits cannot exceed the maximum benefit allowed, which is $170 per week as of this writing.
Disability benefits that are paid by employers or their insurance carriers are subject to Medicare and Social Security taxes. Disability benefits can only be paid for up to 26 weeks during a worker’s disability over a consecutive 52-week period.
“Can I collect paid family leave and disability benefits at the same time in New York?” No, under the law you cannot. “What about my medical expenses?” While workers’ compensation pays for injured workers’ medical expenses, that is not the case with disability benefits for off-the-job injuries and illnesses. Employers are responsible for their own medical expenses; they will not be paid by their employer or their employer’s insurance company.