Most workers in New York know that workers’ compensation benefits can help them with the challenges they will inevitably face if they are injured on the job. What they may not know is that these benefits come in two main categories. Understanding these benefits can be key to helping injured workers get the help they need after being harmed in a workplace accident.
Medical benefits are meant to pay for the medical care and treatment the worker needs to treat their injury or illness. In addition to typical medical and rehabilitative care, these benefits can also cover dental and vision care. Healthcare benefits can also include medically necessary medications and assistive devices.
Lost wages benefits
In addition to medical care, workers’ compensation benefits can help workers cope with the loss of income while they are unable to return to work. Generally, workers injured on the job can receive lost wages benefits if their injury keeps them away from work for greater than a week. They may also receive lost wages benefits if their pay has been reduced because they have to work fewer hours due to their injury, or because they are unable to perform the same work they did prior to the injury.
The dollar amount of these benefits depends on their average weekly wage for the previous year and the degree of the disability the injured worker is suffering as a result of their workplace injury.
Disability determinations may range from total to moderate to mild. Total disability means the worker is at least temporarily unable to work at all. Moderate disability means the worker has some capacity to work, but may need some type of accommodations.
Workers’ compensation benefits can help injured workers through the different phases of their recovery process or if they are unable to return to work. Survivor benefits may also be available to family members if a loved one is lost in a fatal workplace accident. It is essential for injured workers and their families to be familiar with all of these benefits and how they can help them.