Frequently Asked Questions About New York Workers’ Compensation
How much time do I have to notify my supervisor that I was hurt on the job?
You have up to thirty (30) days to notify your supervisor of a work-related injury.
How do I file a claim for Workers’ Compensation?
You must fill out, sign and send a completed Workers’ Compensation Board form C-3 (Employee’s Claim for Compensation) with the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board within two years of the date of injury. The sooner you file after the accident, the sooner your case can be established and you can begin receiving benefits.
Where do I find the C-3 form?
The form is not generally available from your employer. You can download the form from the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board website (www.wcb.state.ny.us) or call Fine, Olin & Anderman, LLP at (800) 522-9001. Or submit your free “Do I Have a Case?” evaluation today. One of our Case Information Specialists will call and assist you in completing the C-3 form, which FOA will then send to the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board as the first step in establishing your case.
NOTE: Notifying your employer does NOT mean you have begun a Workers’ Compensation claim. The Workers’ Compensation Board must receive a completed and signed C-3 form to begin your claim. Be sure to have your treating physician send a completed C-4 form to the Workers’ Compensation Board, as well.
Do I have to lose time from work to file a Workers’ Compensation claim?
No. You are always entitled to medical benefits, regardless of whether or not you lose time. You may also be entitled to cash compensation for a job-related illness or injury, even if there is no time lost from work, but you DO need to seek medical treatment for your injury/illness.
When would I get cash compensation?
You are entitled to cash payments to compensate for loss of earnings if your injury or illness keeps you out of work for more than one week (seven days). If you are out of work for more than two weeks, you will receive cash payments beginning with the first day of your injury. If you are totally or partially disabled, and unable to work for more than seven days, you will receive cash benefits to be paid as long as you are unable to work. The exact amount of the cash benefit is based on your average weekly wage for the year preceding your accident, as well as your degree of disability.
If I have permanent damage, will I get a cash award?
The NYS Workers’ Compensation Law provides for cash benefits to injured workers for permanent damage to certain body parts resulting from an on-the-job injury. These include damage to a limb (fingers, toes, hands, feet, knees, legs and arms), facial disfigurement, or total/partial loss of hearing or vision.
What if I have permanent damage but have not lost time from work?
You do not have to lose time from work in order to qualify for this type of cash benefit. The amount of compensation awarded depends on the part of the body involved and the degree of permanent loss of use.
If I’m getting Workers’ Compensation, am I entitled to receive cash compensation from another party?
Under certain circumstances, in addition to your Workers’ Compensation claim, you may have the right to sue another party for personal injuries if their negligence contributed to your injury. When you contact FOA’s experienced New York workers’ comp attorneys, we automatically look at every workers’ compensation case to see if there is also a possible third-party personal injury case.
Does medical care in a Workers’ Compensation case require advance authorization?
No. The average office visit and routine follow up does not require prior authorization.
Are there circumstances when prior authorization is needed for medical care?
Currently, when the services of a specialist, surgeon, or special lab tests, physical therapy procedures or x-rays costing more than $1000 are needed, authorization must be obtained from the employer or carrier.
Is the cost of prescription drugs and medications covered under Workers’ Compensation?
Yes. The claimant should send a receipted bill and letter from the attending physician to the insurance carrier, stating that the purchase was necessary and in accordance with the physician’s direction.
What happens if a claim is contested?
The insurance carrier or employer contesting a claim must file a notice of controversy (C-7 form) with the New York State Board within 18 days after the disability begins or within 10 days of learning of the accident, whichever is later. The carrier or employer must give the reasons why the claim is not being paid. The controverted claim will be resolved by a Workers’ Compensation Board Law Judge.
What’s the difference between an accident and an occupational disease?
An accident is an “identifiable event”, which happens suddenly, causing personal injury (slip, fall, hand caught in machine, vehicle accident, something falling on you, etc.).
Occupational diseases have their onset over a long period of time. Examples of occupational diseases include carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, rotator cuff injury, asbestos-related disease, respiratory problems related to chemical exposure, latex allergies, hearing loss, lead poisoning, etc. You usually learn you have an occupational disease when your physician relates your medical problem to your work.