When you suffer an injury on the job, you could be eligible for benefits based on medical bills, lost wages and other associated costs. Many workers avoid filing for benefits because they fear repercussions from their employer or they think they cannot afford an attorney.

The truth is that employers are legally barred from taking action against employees who seek compensation after a work injury. In addition, many personal injury attorneys will take your case on a contingency basis, meaning that payment depends on whether you successfully receive benefits. But do you have a case?

How New York workers’ compensation works

 Businesses that operate with employees in New York must have workers’ compensation insurance. When an employee suffers an injury, he or she can file a claim with the state to receive payment through that insurance policy.

Eligibility requirements

 To be eligible for benefits, you must have experienced an injury on the job while working at a for-profit business in New York. Some nonprofit employees are also eligible. You do not need to live in the state to claim benefits if you work in New York.

Steps to take after the accident

 When you have an injury on the job, notify your employer right away. Document the circumstances of the accident, including photo, video and witness statements if applicable. Seek immediate medical care and keep a careful record of the treatments you receive and the cost.

How to file for benefits

 Get started with the online application from the state Workers’ Compensation Board. For best results, include as much detail as possible, including these facts:

  • Where you work and how much you get paid
  • What happened when the injury occurred
  • What type of treatment you received
  • Whether you missed work because of the injury

If your workers’ compensation application receives approval, benefits start on the eighth day you are out of work. If you are out for more than 14 days, you receive benefits starting on the first day. The weekly benefit amount is two-thirds of your average weekly wage times the disability percentage up to a state cap. For example, if you earn $600 a week and are completely disabled, you will receive about $400 a week until you can return to work.