How are workers’ compensation benefits calculated in Buffalo, NY?

Suffering a workplace injury can be a traumatic experience, both physically and emotionally. Fortunately, workers in Buffalo, NY have the protection of the workers’ compensation system, which aims to provide financial support and medical benefits to employees who are injured on the job. Cole, Sorrentino, Hurley, Hewner & Gambino, P.C. is dedicated to helping workers navigate the complex process of obtaining these benefits. In this article, we will explore how workers’ compensation benefits are calculated in Buffalo, NY, and the essential requirements to access these vital resources.

Understanding Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Buffalo, NYHow are workers' compensation benefits calculated in Buffalo, NY?

Workers’ compensation is a state-mandated insurance program that provides medical care and financial assistance to employees who suffer injuries or illnesses while performing their job duties. In Buffalo, NY, as in other states, these benefits are primarily designed to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and rehabilitation costs for injured workers

  • Medical Expenses: When a worker sustains an injury on the job, workers’ compensation will typically cover all reasonable and necessary medical expenses related to the treatment and recovery of the injury. This includes doctor visits, hospital stays, surgeries, prescription medications, physical therapy, and medical equipment.
  • Lost Wages: If the injury prevents the employee from returning to work for a certain period, workers’ compensation benefits will also provide partial wage replacement. The amount of lost wage benefits is usually calculated as a percentage of the worker’s average weekly wage, subject to a maximum cap set by state law.
  • Rehabilitation Services: In some cases, injured workers may require rehabilitation services, such as vocational training, to help them return to work or adjust to a new occupation if they cannot perform their previous job due to the injury.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits Calculation in Buffalo, NY

The calculation of workers’ compensation benefits in Buffalo, NY involves several key factors:

  • Average Weekly Wage: The first step in determining the amount of wage replacement benefits is to establish the injured worker’s average weekly wage. This figure is typically calculated based on the earnings from the worker’s job over the previous 52 weeks before the injury.
  • Benefit Percentage: The workers’ compensation system in Buffalo, NY provides a certain percentage of the average weekly wage as wage replacement benefits. This percentage may vary depending on the severity of the injury and the duration of the disability.
  • Maximum Benefit Caps: State laws impose maximum benefit limits, capping the amount of wage replacement benefits a worker can receive. These caps are subject to change, so it is essential to stay informed about the current regulations.
  • Degree of Disability: The level of disability suffered by the worker also plays a crucial role in the benefits calculation. Temporary total disability, temporary partial disability, permanent partial disability, and permanent total disability each have their own specific calculation methods.

Requirements for Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Buffalo, NY

To qualify for workers’ compensation benefits in Buffalo, NY, certain requirements must be met:

  • Employment Status: The injured individual must be an employee of a company that carries workers’ compensation insurance. Most employers in Buffalo, NY are required to provide this coverage for their employees, with few exceptions.
  • Workplace Injury or Illness: The injury or illness must have occurred while the worker was performing job-related duties. This means that the injury must have arisen out of and in the course of employment.
  • Timely Reporting: It is essential to report a workplace injury to the employer as soon as possible. In Buffalo, NY, there is a limited window of time within which the injury must be reported to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
  • Filing a Claim: After reporting the injury to the employer, the injured worker or their representative must file a workers’ compensation claim with the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board. This claim should include details about the injury, medical treatment received, and any other relevant information.

Navigating the process of obtaining workers’ compensation benefits in Buffalo, NY can be complex, but it is crucial to ensure that injured workers receive the support they need during their recovery. The workers’ compensation system is designed to protect both employers and employees, providing a safety net for workers while limiting employers’ liability.

Additional Factors Affecting Benefits Calculation

  • Pre-Existing Conditions: If an employee had a pre-existing condition that was worsened or aggravated by a workplace injury, the workers’ compensation benefits may be adjusted accordingly. The benefits will cover only the portion of the disability directly caused by the work-related injury.
  • Duration of Benefits: The duration of workers’ compensation benefits depends on the extent of the injury and the worker’s ability to return to work. Temporary disability benefits are provided when the worker is expected to recover and return to work after a certain period. Permanent disability benefits may be available if the injury causes a lasting impairment that prevents the worker from resuming regular employment.
  • Social Security Offset: In some cases, workers’ compensation benefits may be offset by Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments if the injured worker is also eligible for SSDI benefits.

At Cole, Sorrentino, Hurley, Hewner & Gambino, P.C., we understand the challenges that injured workers face while navigating the complexities of workers’ compensation. Our team of experienced attorneys is here to guide you through the process, ensuring that you receive the full benefits you are entitled to. If you or a loved one has been injured at work, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a free consultation. Let us fight for your rights and help you secure the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to get started on your path to recovery and financial stability.

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