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Workers’ Compensation Board

WCB Information Related To Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)


Pursuant to Executive Order 202.13, and effective March 30, 2020, all Workers' Compensation and Disability and Paid Family Leave benefits insurance carriers are directed to cease cancelling, non-renewing, or conditionally renewing any insurance policy issued to an individual or small business, or, in the case of a group insurance policy, insuring certificate holders that are individuals or small businesses, for a period of 60 days, for any policyholder, or in the case of a group insurance policy, group policyholder or certificate holder where such policy holder and or certificate holder is facing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. For purposes of the Executive Order, a small business means any business that is resident in this State, is independently owned and operated, and employs one hundred or fewer individuals. Pursuant to Department of Financial Services (DFS) regulation, an employer may establish that it is facing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic by filing an attestation to that effect with its workers' compensation and/or disability and paid family leave benefits insurance carrier. See 11 NYCRR 229.5(c).

Executive Order 202.13

New DFS Regulation - 11 NYCRR 229.5(c)

All Workers' Compensation, Disability Benefits and Paid Family Leave carriers are now on notice of the Executive Order.

Given the nature of the Executive Order, and the likelihood that there will be a significant number of voluntary cancellations by small businesses that have either been directed to temporarily close or temporarily have no employees due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board will not implement a system hard coding to prevent the submission of all coverage cancellation transactions filed by your organization for small businesses in New York (as defined above). Rather, the Board expects all carriers to comply with the Executive Order voluntarily and not file such transactions where the small business has filed the appropriate attestation of financial hardship with the carrier as indicated above.

However, as carriers have now been specifically placed on notice of this 60-day moratorium, in the event that a carrier files a prohibited coverage transaction, and the Board in turn undertakes activity vis a vis an affected small business, the Board will impose sanctions. Specifically, the Board will consider such activity to have been necessitated by carrier action without reasonable grounds, warranting an assessment of costs against the carrier pursuant to WCL § 114-a(3)(i). Finally, to the extent that there are any pending transactions that would be violative of the Executive Order, carriers are directed to immediately file reinstatement transactions (or other transactions as circumstances warrant) to negate the pending cancellations.