Workers in New York who are experiencing an illness related to their job or have been injured while they were working are covered under the state's workers' compensation program. Depending on the nature of the injury or illness and the likely course of treatment, workers' compensation benefits can come in a variety of forms.
In the following article, you can learn more about New York workers' compensation benefits and how long you may get them.
Workers' Compensation: Medical Benefits
In the New York workers' comp system, medical costs are covered for an injury that took place at work or a related illness.
However, to receive these benefits and coverage, you can be required to visit a doctor that is approved by workers' comp and complete an Independent Medical Exam (IME). All of your injury-related medical bills would be covered up to the point of Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI).
What Is Maximum Medical Improvement (aka MMI)?
Maximum Medical Improvement, or MMI for short, may be one of the most significant phrases you come across throughout a New York workers' compensation claim. MMI denotes that your doctor has determined that your work-related illness or injury has improved as far as it can. Essentially, this is saying that no matter how much more medical treatment you receive, your injury has already reached the best possible state. When your claim has reached MMI, it will have a large influence on the next steps.
If you were getting a weekly payment for temporary total disability (TTD) or temporary partial disability (TPD), those payments stop once the injury is declared MMI. From here, your doctor may determine if you are permanently disabled and provide a rating, which will determine the amount and duration of payments made as part of PPD (permanent partial disability) or PTD (permanent total disability).
Even if you reach the MMI designation, be careful not to return to work too quickly, especially if you are not physically ready. It is in your best interest to contact an experienced workers' compensation attorney immediately to explore your legal rights and choices, especially if the doctor believes you have reached or are nearing MMI. They may assist you in successfully contesting a doctor's MMI judgment.
Temporary vs Permanent Total Disability: How Long Does It Last In New York?
Another advantage of New York workers' compensation benefits is lost wages. You could be eligible for benefits under various disability classifications.
For example, "temporary total disability" benefits (TTD) – which means you cannot work, but only temporarily – are available if you have missed work for seven or more days due to injury. The amount of compensation for lost wages is dependent on your average weekly wage (AWW), based on how much you earned for the 52 weeks prior to the date of injury. Furthermore, this figure is the gross amount, including overtime.
In New York, benefits for a permanent disability can range from anywhere from 225 - 525 weeks, depending on the injury. If it is a Permanent Total Disability (PTD), where you have lost your wage-earning capacity due to a permanent disability, there is no limit on how long you can receive benefits. When your status is Permanent Partial Disability (PPD), benefits can last for up to 2 years or until a doctor declares you MMI.
Determining specific amounts and a timeframe for benefits can get a little tricky, so it is recommended that you seek the help of a workers' comp attorney to guide you.
Need Assistance With Your Workers' Compensation Claim?
Following an accident at work that results in an injury, you have the right to seek compensation, but the claims process and collecting benefits may be difficult. There are skilled New York workers' compensation lawyers, such as Brandon J. Broderick, who will fight to safeguard your rights. The maximum compensation can be yours if you have been severely hurt at work. Don't wait and wonder, give us a call to figure out your options.
Worker's compensation lawsuits are a specialty of Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, serving clients in New Jersey and New York for years. We have the resources you'll need to get a favorable outcome. Call us if you've been hurt. We can help.