"One of the best decisions I had ever made"
- Joseph Lugo
Workers’ compensation laws protect people who are injured on the job. These laws are designed to ensure that employees who are injured or disabled on the job are provided with fixed monetary awards. These laws also provide benefits for dependents of workers who are killed in work-related accidents or by work-related illnesses or diseases. There are, however, statutory limits on reporting and filing a claim, and there may be monetary limits on the workers’ comp benefits. The limits vary depending on the type of benefits.
In New York, an injured worker must notify his or her supervisor about the injury and the way in which it occurred in writing. This should be done as soon as possible. However, it MUST be done within 30 days after the date of the accident causing the injury. If the worker does not report the injury within 30 days he or she may lose the right to workers’ compensation benefits. In the case of occupational disease, notification should be given within two years after disablement, or within two years after the claimant knew or should have known that the disease was work-related, whichever is later.
There is also a statute of limitations on how long an injured worker can wait to file a claim with the workers’ compensation agency In the case of occupational disease, a claim must be filed with the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board within two years after the injury or being disabled, or within two years after the worker knew or should have known that the occupational disease was due to the nature of the employment, whichever is later.
Time limits are different for claims filed for job-related hearing loss, as codified by New York Workers’ Compensation – Article 3-A Occupational Loss of Hearing. In the event of hearing loss due to occupational hazards, a worker must wait 90 days before he or she can file a claim. The waiting period for a worker to file a claim is either three months from the date the worker is removed from the harmful noise in the workplace; or three months after the worker leaves the workplace in which the harmful noise exposure occurred. The date the disability began is the last day of either three month period. The worker may file a claim after the two-year limit if it is done within ninety days of knowledge that the hearing loss is related to the worker’s employment.
Workers’ compensation disability benefits are subject to limits regarding maximum and minimum weekly payments based on the severity of the injury and length of time the condition is expected to last.
New York workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. The United States Department of Labor clarifies that state statutes determine how most workers’ compensation programs are run. Federal statutes are limited to federal workers and employees involved in some significant aspect of interstate commerce (e.g., railroad or marine employees).