If you were injured in a workplace accident or if you’ve been diagnosed with an occupational disease, and you’re looking into filing a workers’ compensation claim, you probably have questions. Below, we list some of the most common questions that we get asked by clients. If you need further information, feel free to contact our firm directly.
Q. Can I automatically get workers’ compensation if I am disabled?
A. No, workers’ compensation benefits are not automatically guaranteed. To be covered, the disability or illness must be work-related. It must have arisen out of employment. For example, if you fall off a ladder while trying to trim your backyard trees, you could not file a workers’ compensation claim because the injury was not work-related.
Q. What if I don’t file a workers’ compensation claim?
A. If you do not file a workers’ compensation claim for a work-related injury or illness, you will lose your right to medical care and benefits. Suggested reading: “How to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in NY.”
Q. Will my benefits be the same as my regular income?
A. No, workers’ compensation benefits are not equal to the worker’s income before the accident. Instead, they are two-thirds of the workers’ average weekly wage for the year just prior to the accident.
Q. Can I still get medical care if I don’t take cash benefits?
A. Yes, if medical care is needed, an applicant can receive it, even if they do not lose any time from work, and they do not file a claim for cash benefits.
Q. Will my prescription drugs be covered?
A. Yes, in addition to medical care, prescription drugs are covered under New York’s workers’ compensation law.
Q. Why would a workers’ compensation claim be denied?
A. Generally, workers’ compensation claims are denied for the following reasons: 1) the injury was not work-related, 2) the worker was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the injury, 3) the worker was trying to injure someone else when he or she got injured, 4) the worker was intentionally trying to injure themselves, and 5) the worker is an “uncovered employee” and isn’t eligible for benefits.
Q. Can child support be taken from workers’ compensation?
A. Child support CAN be taken directly out of a noncustodial parent’s workers’ compensation benefits. If your reduced income makes it so you can’t afford your current child support obligation, our advice is to ask the family court for a modification promptly.