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What Benefits Does Workers' Compensation Provide?

New York City workers’ compensation lawyers explain what expenses are covered

When you sustain an illness or injury on the job in New York, you are often eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. But what expenses does workers’ compensation cover in New York? What can you be compensated for?

You might be surprised by how many expenses workers’ compensation benefits cover. But it’s important to understand how the system works. Otherwise, you might not receive all the workers’ comp benefits you are eligible to receive.

Our New York workers’ compensation attorneys at Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano, LLP can help you understand what benefits you are eligible to receive and how to obtain them. Our legal team has been doing this for decades and can demand the compensation you rightfully deserve.

What benefits does workers’ compensation cover in New York?

Most workers in New York who sustain a workplace injury or illness can receive workers’ compensation benefits from their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance provider. The New York State Workers’ Compensation Board defines the benefits injured and sick workers can receive. Such benefits often include:

Medical Care

One of the primary workers’ compensation benefits for sick and injured workers in New York is compensation for medical care to treat work-related injuries and illnesses. Health care costs covered by the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board can include:

  • Ambulance fees if someone needs to be transported to a hospital or another emergency medical facility.
  • Hospital fees if someone needs to stay overnight in a hospital due to serious injuries or life-threatening illnesses that need to be carefully monitored by medical professionals.
  • Emergency medical treatment, including emergency room care in cases often involving life-threatening injuries.
  • Diagnostic medical tests to determine what’s wrong, including X-rays, MRIs, or blood tests, depending on someone’s medical condition.
  • Surgical procedures, including emergency surgery or follow-up surgery.
  • Physical therapy, including long-term physical rehabilitation therapy designed to improve someone’s mobility and overall medical condition.


Doctors often prescribe medications to treat medical conditions caused by a work-related injury or illness. Prescription drugs can be expensive, and sick or injured workers may need to take them for several days, weeks, months, or perhaps for the rest of their lives. This is why it’s important that workers’ compensation provides money to pay for medications.

Medical Equipment

Medical equipment necessary for a work-related injury or illness can include crutches, wheelchairs, canes, and other devices often used to assist people with mobility issues. Other times, medical equipment can include a back brace or cast to hold broken bones in place so they can heal properly.

Replacement Income

This is often one of the most important workers’ compensation benefits that sick or injured people receive if they cannot work and need time off to rest and recover. The New York State Workers’ Compensation Board pays injured workers a lost wage benefit if someone is out of work for at least 14 days or more.

Replacement income is normally paid each week and based on someone’s average weekly wage prior to their work-related injury or illness. Lost wage benefits are primarily based on two factors:

  • Two-thirds of someone’s average weekly wage (AWW).
  • Degree of disability on a scale of 0 to 100 percent. According to the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board, degrees of disability include total disability (100 percent), marked disability (75 percent), moderate disability (50 percent) and mild disability (25 percent).

Multiply someone’s AWW by the degree of disability, and that’s how much money someone would receive in lost wage benefits. For example, if someone made $1,000 per week before they got injured at work, they would receive $666.66 per week if they had a 100 percent total disability. If they had a moderate disability of 50 percent, the same person would receive $333.33 per week.

There is a maximum weekly benefit, which the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board adjusts annually.

Disability Benefits

If someone’s work-related injury results in a disability, they may be able to receive workers’ compensation if they cannot work or can only work in a reduced, limited capacity for a period of time. Workers’ compensation disability benefits are based on the severity of someone’s injury and whether they can work. New York State’s Workers’ Compensation Board defines work-related injuries that result in a disability in the following ways:

  • Temporary total disability – Someone cannot work at all for a period of time, but they are expected to fully recover.
  • Temporary partial disability – Someone has a partial disability that prevents them from being able to work at full capacity and earn full wages for a temporary period but is expected to make a full recovery.
  • Permanent total disability – Someone cannot work at all, and they are not expected to recover in the future.
  • Permanent partial disability – Someone has a partial disability that prevents them from working at full capacity, and their disability is expected to last the rest of their life.

Transportation Costs

Workers’ compensation in New York covers certain transportation costs. Such travel reimbursement costs include:

  • Bus, taxi, or subway fares for doctor’s appointments.
  • Mileage reimbursement costs for doctor’s appointments if someone has to drive to such appointments. New York State reimburses people on a per-mile basis, which is adjusted by the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board regularly.

Survivor Benefits

If someone dies in a work-related accident or due to a work-related illness, surviving family members are eligible to receive survivor benefits, sometimes called death benefits, since surviving family members need to file a “death claim” to receive such benefits.

Surviving family members typically include the surviving spouse and/or surviving minor children or dependents. New York survivor benefits include:

  • Money for funeral expenses, which varies depending on where surviving family members live in New York. The state provides more money for funeral expenses in the following New York Counties: Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk, and Westchester.
  • Weekly cash benefits, which are paid to surviving family members each week. The amount paid to surviving family members cannot exceed the maximum weekly benefit at the time of their death and is typically equal to two-thirds of someone’s pay for the previous 52 weeks prior to their death, according to the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board.

When to contact a workers’ compensation attorney

Obtaining the workers’ compensation benefits you’re entitled to in New York can often be much more complicated than expected. Even if you know you are eligible to get such benefits, that doesn’t mean you will automatically receive them. Whether it’s due to a clerical error or filling out your workers’ compensation application form wrong, there are many reasons why people don’t receive the money or support they deserve after a serious workplace injury or illness.

Our New York City workers’ compensation lawyers at Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano, LLP understand the obstacles people often encounter when trying to obtain workers’ comp benefits. That’s because we have years of experience handling complex legal cases and fighting for injured New Yorkers. When you have our legal team on your side, we can demand the benefits you deserve while you focus on recovering from your injury or illness.

Get the New York law firm that gets results. Contact us and schedule an appointment with a New York workers’ compensation attorney who puts your best interests first. We have 12 offices conveniently located in New York, including five offices in New York City.

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