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Glossary of WCB Terms

Disability Benefits
(Off-the-Job Injury or Illness)


Who Is and Who Is Not Covered for NYS Disability Benefits?

Who is Covered?

  • An employer of one or more persons on each of 30 days in any calendar year becomes a "covered" employer four weeks after the 30th day of such employment.
  • Employees or recent employees of a "covered" employer, who have worked at least four consecutive weeks.
  • Employees of an employer who elects to provide benefits by filing an Application for Voluntary Coverage.
  • Employees who change jobs from one "covered" employer to another "covered" employer are protected from the first day on the new job. Generally, an eligible employee does not lose protection during the first 26 weeks of unemployment, provided he/she is eligible for and is claiming unemployment insurance benefits.
  • Domestic or personal employees who work 40 or more hours per week for one employer. (Domestic Workers)

Who is not Covered?

  • A minor child of the employer.
  • Government, railroad, maritime or farm laborers.
  • Ministers, priests, rabbis, members of religious orders, sextons, Christian Science readers.
  • Individuals that volunteer their services for nonprofit organizations and receive no compensation. Compensation includes stipends, room and board, and other "perks" that have monetary value. (Stipends used solely to offset expenses incurred while performing activities for the nonprofit are not counted as stipends.)
  • An executive officer of an incorporated religious, charitable or educational institution,and persons engaged in a professional or teaching capacity in or for a religious, charitable, or educational institution (Section 501(c)(3) under the IRS tax code), and persons receiving rehabilitation services in a sheltered workshop operated by such institutions under a certificate issued by the U.S. Department of Labor.
  • Persons receiving aid from a religious or charitable institution, who perform work in return for such aid.
  • One or two corporate officers who either singly or jointly own all of the stock and hold all of the offices of a corporation that employs no other employees.
  • Golf caddies.
  • Daytime students in elementary or secondary school, who work part-time during the school year or their regular vacation period. (Students)
  • Employees who change to jobs in an exempt employment or with a "non-covered" employer, and work in such employment for more than four weeks, lose protection until they work four consecutive weeks for a "covered" employer.
  • The spouse of an employer that files a spousal exclusion form (DB-212.5)adobe pdf). (Spouse of Employer)

Note: A "noncovered" employer may elect at any time to provide disability benefits coverage by filing an Application for Voluntary Coverage with the Chair of the Workers' Compensation Board.

Additional NYS Disability Benefits Coverage Situations