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What does workers' compensation do to protect workers?

Workers in New York might be familiar with the idea of workers' compensation, but are not fully aware of what it is and what it does. Having a grasp on how workers' compensation benefits serve as protection to workers in the event that they are injured and can make it easier to receive benefits if something unexpected happens. With workplace injuries and illness, there can be medical expenses, rehabilitation and missed time on the job. Knowing the ins-and-outs of the process begins with the basics of workers' compensation.

If a worker becomes ill or is injured as a result of the job, he or she can receive workers' compensation benefits. This is insurance that is paid for by the employers. It is not required that the employee contribute to its cost. The insurance carrier for the employer will pay benefits on a weekly basis if a worker has become ill or injured. This is overseen by the Workers' Compensation Board. This Board processes the claims and can intervene if it is necessary in the event of a dispute.

With workers' compensation, there is no fault allocated. The amount that a worker receives will not be reduced if the injury or illness came about as a result of worker carelessness. On the opposite token, it will not be increased if the injury or illness happened because of employer negligence. A worker who is injured because of being under the influence will not be able to recover workers' compensation benefits afterwards. The carrier will pay the claim once it is determined that the issue is related to work. When there is a dispute, there will be no payments made until the judge has come to a decision as to which side is right. It is possible that a worker might receive benefits while waiting for the judge's decision if the employer or insurer are claiming that the injury is not related to the job.

Workers who want to go back to work but cannot because of the injury might be able to receive a two-thirds benefit from their previous wages. There is also the possibility of performing limited, light or alternative work until the worker is back to full functionality. For an injured worker, it is imperative to understand the basics about workers' compensation. If there is confusion or an issue with receiving benefits, speaking to a legal professional can help with a claim.

Source:, "Introduction to the Workers' Compensation Law," accessed on Dec. 1, 2015

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