Should you or a loved one experience an injury while on the job or while performing job-related duties, you will likely want to file for workers’ compensation. Moreover, as medical bills start piling up, you might wonder, “When does workers’ comp pay start, and what can you do to expedite the process if it’s delayed?”
Generally, most New York workers receive workers’ compensation payments on a fixed schedule. That said, certain elements can complicate the matter, like employers refusing workers’ comp claims and more. To bring clarity to this topic, we’ve broken it down in detail below. If, however, you would prefer to speak with a Schwartzapfel Lawyers workers’ comp attorney directly, please call 516-342-2200 or visit us onlineto schedule your free consultation today.
Workers’ Comp In New York Explained
Virtually all employers in New York State are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. As such, if a worker is injured on the job or in the course of their regular duties, the workers’ comp insurance company will pay for that worker’s medical bills and associated expenses.
As a worker, all you have to do after being injured is file a claim with your employer. This involves filling out a few sheets of paperwork and, in most cases, meeting with an independent medical practitioner to have your injuries analyzed during a medical evaluation. Once that’s done, you should receive workers’ comp payouts right away.
Note: Your workers’ compensation benefits are intended to pay for your past and ongoing medical bills and help compensate you for any income you lose out on if you aren’t able to return to work immediately. In some cases, workers’ comp benefits can also pay for long-term disability support.
When Do Workers’ Comp Payments Begin In New York?
If you or a loved one has been injured on the job or in the performance of job-related duties, it’s only natural that you’ll wonder when you start receiving workers’ comp payments. Your exact timeline depends on whether or not your employer accepts your claim.
If Your Employer Accepts Your Claim
If your employer does what’s right and accepts your workers’ compensation benefits claim, you probably won’t receive any cash benefits for at least seven (7) days. New York has a waiting period for all workers’ comp benefits of one (1) week.
This waiting period is intended to give insurance companies and employers enough time to verify an employee’s injuries and the cause of their medical issues. It’s also meant as a deterrent for employees who might take advantage of the workers’ comp system.
You will probably not be paid workers’ comp benefits immediately, even if you file a claim right after being injured. There’s one exception to this rule: if your disability goes beyond (14) days. If your disability or injuries require treatment for more than (14) days, you could receive wage compensation or back pay all the way back to the first day of work you took off because of your injuries.
For a deeper understanding, let’s review some examples:
- You suffer a minor sprain to your ankle that requires some moderate medical attention and treatment. Your ankle sprain takes nine days to heal. You file a workers’ comp claim immediately. Since your injury does not take more than (14) days to heal, you receive workers’ comp payments after one week, and only for a few days.
- You suffer a severely broken bone that prevents you from working or walking for several months. You file a workers’ comp claim immediately. Since your injury takes much longer than (14) days to heal, you’ll receive back pay for your time off work starting from the day of your injury up to the present. Depending on the severity of your injury, you’ll then receive continued workers’ comp benefits for some time to come.
Bottom line: Don’t expect your workers’ comp payments to appear in your bank account right off the bat. This doesn’t mean your employer is doing anything wrong; they’re just following New York State laws.
If Your Employer Does Not Accept Your Claim
If your employer does not accept your workers’ comp claim, you may not see any payments for some time. This is because you will likely need to initiate legal proceedings against your employer in order to secure your compensation.
Here, please be aware that your workers’ compensation claim may be declined either by your employer or their insurance company. To this end, for you to qualify for workers’ compensation, the following criteria must be met:
- You have to be injured on the job; OR
- You have to be injured in the normal course of your duties
Still, some employers or their insurance companies may suspect that employees are not truly injured, or an insurance company may simply not want to make payouts right now. Whatever the case may be, you’ll need to contact knowledgeable legal professionals who can help you with your case.
At Schwartzapfel Lawyers, our educated and experienced workers’ compensation attorneys have seen many similar cases as yours. We know just how difficult it is to negotiate with insurance companies, so contact us for a free consultation online or at 516-342-2200.
Please note, too, that your employer might stand in the way of your rightful workers’ comp payments if they believe that you were responsible for the accident, leading to the denial of your workers’ compensation claim. Similarly, they may have some other reason for denying your claim. Whatever the case may be, you should know that you never have to stand by and let any such denial happen.
How Much Do You Get In Workers’ Compensation?
So, as you start receiving workers’ comp payments, how much can you expect? To begin, you should know that the New York workers’ compensation formula is as follows:
- 2/3x your average weekly wage X % of disability = your weekly benefit
In other words, your workers’ compensation payouts will likely be based on two-thirds of your average weekly wage in addition to a certain amount based on the level of your disability. Minor injuries or disabilities should result in lower payouts.
What Happens If You Don’t Receive Workers’ Comp Payments?
If you don’t receive workers’ comp payments promptly, your financial situation can become much more difficult to bear. That’s why you should contact skilled attorneys like Schwartzapfel Lawyers right away online or at 516-342-2200.
Additionally, if you don’t receive workers’ comp payments but believe you should, you may need to pursue legal action against your employer or their insurance company. Note: In this kind of circumstance, you likely won’t receive any payments until a court rules one way or another (in which case you may qualify for back pay to compensate you for the money you should have but have yet to receive from the insurance company).
For all these reasons, one of the best things you can do is speak with experienced workers’ compensation attorneys like the skilled team at Schwartzapfel Lawyers. Once you sit down for an initial case evaluation, our knowledgeable attorneys can:
- Go over your legal options and make sure you understand everything involved with a lawsuit or arbitration action. That way, you can make the best decision for your finances and your family.
- Speak to the insurance company on your behalf. In some cases, simply the threat of legal action is enough to get an insurance company to do the right thing, particularly if you know what to say.
- Gather evidence for you in preparation for an upcoming court or arbitration date. While you recover from your injuries, our lawyers can do all the heavy lifting by speaking to coworkers, getting camera footage, and so on.
- Represent you during arbitration meetings or court trials. With our assistance, you’ll be able to represent yourself successfully and effectively, convincing the judge that you should have received workers’ comp payments from the beginning.
Perhaps most importantly, the right workers’ compensation attorneys can provide you with peace of mind. This is critical, as few things in life can be more stressful than trying to simultaneously recover from a workplace injury, pay for medical bills, and deal with an obstinate insurance company. Here, your lawyers can do much of this work for you and, in so doing, take a significant load off your shoulders. As such, you should never try to file a workers’ comp claim without help — not when you don’t have to.
Contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers Today
To recap, you should typically start receiving workers’ comp payments within one to two weeks of filing a claim, depending on whether or not your employer accepts your benefits claim. To that end, if you are having trouble receiving workers’ comp payments, Schwartzapfel Lawyers can help.
Our experienced, highly knowledgeable attorneys have helped thousands of New York workers just like you over the years, and we’re confident that we can successfully negotiate with insurance companies or take your case to court if need be.
For a free consultation and/or case evaluation, please contact our office at 516-342-2200 or visit us online today!
DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this page should be considered legal advice. You should seek the appropriate counsel your situation requires. For more information, call 1-516-342-2200 now!