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Know your rights when filing for workers’ compensation

On Behalf of | Nov 1, 2019 | Workplace injuries

New York is known for fashion, Michelin-star restaurants, posh hotels and high fashion. To keep this up, millions of workers take jobs in industries ranging from CEO to a window cleaner for skyscrapers. While some jobs come with a level of prestige, others can be dangerous; some, like an executive chef, can be both.

If workers become injured on the job, it is important for them to know what their rights are when filing for workers’ compensation. Employers may often short-change workers either deliberately or through their own ignorance of how the system works. The smaller the business, and if it does not have a dedicated human resources department, the more likely this may be.

The New York State Workers’ Compensation Board reminds workers that unless the disability lasts for more than 14 days, they will not receive disability benefits within the first seven. If it does extend beyond 14 days, then they may receive benefits starting from the first day. Disability is determined by whether or not the injury prevents the person from being able to work.

To calculate the cash benefits, consider the weekly wages earned on average in the previous year. The claimant may then receive two-thirds of that average weekly wage at the percentage of disability. So, if a claimant made $600 in average weekly wages and had a disability percentage of 100%, they may receive $400 in benefits.

USA Today also advises workers that workers’ compensation is a no-fault benefit. In other words, it does not matter if the injury resulted from their own negligence, they may still be entitled to benefits for a time, while they are unable to work.

Finally, note that employers should not retaliate against workers for filing for workers’ compensation by demoting or firing them. It is a protected activity. If this does happen — and, it often does — the worker may seek legal recourse.