Employees throughout New York can file a workers’ compensation claim for injuries suffered on the job. Even if you know there are benefits available, though, you might have some questions about getting what you need.
Workers’ compensation benefits won’t automatically begin because of a health or safety problem in your workplace. There are certain steps you must take to protect your interests.
If you sustain an injury at or become ill because of work:
- Tell your boss. You must notify your employer within 30 days of the date of your injury or illness. File an incident report as soon as possible to minimize your chances of a missed deadline. Waiting may raise suspicions about whether your injuries happened outside of work, potentially making you ineligible for benefits.
- Get medical care. Unless you need immediate treatment, work with your employer to find an approved health care provider. Be sure you mention you are seeking medical attention for a work-related condition.
- Document. Ask your employer for a copy of your incident report and keep track of your medical records. Accurately reported details could help support the timely approval of your claim.
Your employer’s insurance company might try to deny your claim or offer you minimal benefits. However, you can fight for the maximum compensation to which you’re entitled. This includes making use of the appeals process available to those who disagree with a state Workers’ Compensation Board denial of benefits.
Workplaces must meet certain legal safety requirements. You would be wise to stand up for your rights if your employer’s negligence puts your health and future earning potential at risk.