Injured Worker’s Toolkit
Helping you understand and file for workers’ compensation benefits
Helping you understand and file for workers’ compensation benefits
If you are an injured worker who has suffered a work-related injury or illness, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Workers’ compensation is insurance that provides lost wage benefits and/or medical care for work-related injuries or illnesses. These benefits are available to every eligible worker in New York State, regardless of citizenship or immigration status.
Learn more by visiting the What is Workers’ Compensation? page.
The workers’ compensation system was established in New York State after the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire industrial disaster in 1914. The Board oversees the workers’ compensation system. We exist to protect the rights of injured workers and promote compliance with the law, ensuring prompt and accurate delivery of benefits to injured workers across New York. Insurance carriers and claim administrators actually pay the claims.
We’re here to help you understand your rights and ensure you have the tools and resources needed to file a claim. We can answer your questions about workers’ compensation; help you understand the benefits you may be entitled to; assist you in resolving disputes; and provide resources to help you return to work when you’re able.
Learn more about the Board by visiting the Board Information page.
This Toolkit will help you understand how workers’ compensation works, guide you through the process of filing a claim, and share information on resources available to you. We understand that this can be a new experience for a worker, so help is available for you at the Board. Read on to learn more, or use the left navigation menu to access the content you need.
Workers’ compensation provides medical care for your work-related injury or illness. It can also provide lost wage benefits (also known as indemnity benefits) if you miss time from work due to this incident.
Free Medical Care:
Medical care for your work-related injury/illness is provided to you free of cost, for your lifetime. You don’t pay for treatment in an established claim; the insurer pays for your care. (If the Board ultimately finds that your workers’ compensation claim is not valid, you will be responsible for those costs.)
Workers’ compensation also covers prescription drugs and equipment prescribed by your health care provider, as well as transportation costs and other necessary expenses when traveling for treatment.
To help you access high-quality medical care, New York State implemented a law in 2020 that allows many new types of providers to treat injured workers. You can seek treatment from a Board-authorized:
To find a health care provider, you can use the Health Care Provider and IME search on our website.
You are entitled to receive a portion of your lost wages if, due to your work-related injury or illness:
Lost wage benefits are based on your average weekly wage (AWW) for the 52 weeks before the date of injury or illness, and your degree of disability. Your AWW is based on your gross earnings, including overtime and other compensation, not your take-home pay. If you have two jobs, it includes both your wages. Your degree of disability is a percentage of how much you are disabled due to your injury, as determined by your health care provider.
If you can return to work but your injury keeps you from earning the same wages you earned before the injury, you may be entitled to reduced earnings benefits. This pays up to two-thirds of the difference between your pre-injury wages and your post-injury wages.
Weekly Cash Benefit
2/3 of your average weekly wage X your % of disability
For example: A worker who earns $1000 a week and is 70% disabled would receive $466.67 ($666.67, workers average weekly wage X 70%= $466.67)
Additional information regarding lost wage benefits, calculating your average weekly wage and more can be found in the Workers’ Compensation Benefits section of the website, or the Lost Wage Benefits publication.
If a worker dies due to a work-related injury or illness, there is a benefit to surviving families or the worker’s estate. The indemnity benefit is calculated in the same manner as the lost wage benefit discussed above.
There is also a benefit for funeral and memorial expenses. Visit the Survivor Benefits page to learn more, including the current benefit level for funeral and memorial expenses.
Get medical treatment as soon as possible.
You can see any health care provider in an emergency. If it’s not an emergency, see a Board-authorized provider. You can search for a Board-authorized provider on our website. Tell the provider you were hurt at work and give the name of your employer and the insurance payer, if you know that. Do not pay the provider or hospital for treatment received for your injury/illness.
Tell your employer you were injured or became ill at work.
Notify your employer, in writing if possible, within 30 days of your injury or when your health care provider tells you work caused your condition. A document or email is best. Try to avoid using text messages.
File a claim with the Workers’ Compensation Board.
There are two ways you can file a claim:
You can file your claim anytime within two years of the incident. Employers must report the incident, but filing your own claim is helpful. Don’t let anyone talk you out of filing a claim.
You may choose to hire an attorney or licensed representative, but it isn’t required. All fees for attorneys and licensed representatives are set by the Board, and these fees are deducted from lost wage awards. You should never pay anything directly to an attorney or licensed representative. To find an attorney or licensed representative, see:
If you are an injured worker with a "medical-only" case or issue (one that does not involve any financial compensation for lost wages or permanent injury), you may be able to get free legal representation through the Injured Workers Legal Assistance Project.
If your claim is accepted, you’ll start to receive benefits. When that happens, you’ll start receiving lost wage benefits if you are eligible and your health care providers will be paid directly. You can access your case through eCase – the Board’s electronic case folder used to process claims.
If your claim is not accepted, the Board will contact you. This could be because:
If your claim needs a hearing, you will receive a notice to attend a hearing. The Board’s virtual hearings system allows you and all other parties to attend your workers’ compensation hearings remotely using a computer or mobile device app. You can also attend by telephone. Detailed information and instructions for attending the hearing will be on your hearing notice and are also available on the Virtual Hearings page of our website.
Below is a high-level summary of important timeframes and who does what, when you have an on-the-job injury or illness. For complete details and additional helpful information, see Understanding the Claims Process.
Written notification should be provided to your employer as soon as possible, but within 30 days. If you fail to notify your employer, within 30 days after the date of injury, you may lose your rights to workers' compensation benefits.
You should file an Employee Claim (Form C-3) reporting your injury to the Board as soon as possible. You must notify the Board of your injury or illness within two years of your accident. If you injured the same body part before, or had a similar illness, you must also file a Limited Release of Health Information (Form C-3.3).
Your employer must notify their insurance carrier within 10 days of the injury or illness if you require medical treatment beyond first aid, or have lost at least one day from work other than the date the injury or illness occurred.
The insurer provides you with a written Statement of Rights (Form C-430S) and any requirements for using pharmacy or diagnostic testing networks Notice That Claimant Must Arrange for Diagnostic Tests & Examinations through a Network Provider (Form DT-1). This must be done within 14 days after notification of the injury/illness from your employer or with the first check, whichever is earlier.
The insurer begins the payment of benefits if lost time exceeds seven days. Insurers will often accept a claim and promptly begin paying benefits. However, an insurer can dispute a claim for various reasons. To contest a claim, an insurer must notify you and file a notice of controversy with the Board within 18 days after the disability begins or within 10 days of learning of the injury/illness, whichever is later. It must give the reasons why the claim is not being paid.
You will continue to receive payments for benefits every two weeks during your disability period, the insurer must notify you and the Board if payments are changed or stopped.
Dealing with an injury or illness, and potentially not being able to work and participate in other regular activities, may be quite difficult. Getting back to work after an injury or illness may also be daunting.
Help is available if you need referrals for mental health, financial or career counseling; assistance searching for a new job; vocational training; support in accessing food purchasing assistance or other services; or assistance with a challenge specific to your workers’ compensation claim.
The Board’s Office of the Advocate for Injured Workers helps injured workers who face difficulties in getting their benefits, the Office educates workers on their rights, shares best practices and resources for returning to work, and makes referrals to our team of on-staff Licensed Clinical Social Workers and Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors (VRCs) for additional support.
If you need help reading this page or would like interpretation services at your hearing, please call the Workers’ Compensation Board’s toll-free number: (877) 632-4996. An interpreter will be provided at no cost to you. If you feel that the Board has not provided you with adequate interpretation services, please let us know by contacting us using the form found at: wcb.ny.gov/lac.
Si ou bezwen èd pou ou li dokiman enpòtan sa a oswa ou bezwen yon moun pou entèprete pou ou nan odyans ou an, tanpri rele nimewo gratis Konsèy Konpansasyon Travay (Workers’ Compensation Board) la (877) 632-4996. Y ap ba ou yon entèprèt gratis. Si ou santi Konsèy la pa te ba ou sèvis entèprèt ou bezwen an, tanpri itilize fòm pou kontakte nou ki nan : wcb.ny.gov/lac pou di nou sa.
Se hai bisogno di assistenza per la lettura di questo documento o se vuoi richiedere un servizio di interpretariato per l’udienza, chiama il Comitato per gli infortuni sul lavoro (Workers’ Compensation Board) al numero verde (877) 632-4996 Il servizio di interpretariato è gratuito. Se il servizio di interpretariato offerto non è stato all’altezza delle tue aspettative, ti preghiamo di comunicarlo compilando il modulo disponibile sul sito wcb.ny.gov/lac.
이 중요한 문서를 읽는 데 도움이 필요하거나 내용을 직접 들을 수 있도록 통역 서비스가 필요한 경우, 노동자 산업재해 보험(Workers’ Compensation Board)의 수신자 부담 전화번호 (877) 632-4996으로 문의하시기 바랍니다. 통역사가 파견되며 비용을 청구하지 않습니다. 당국에서 귀하에게 적절한 통역 서비스를 제공하지 않았다고 생각하시는 경우, wcb.ny.gov/lac에서 제공하는 양식을 사용하여 저희에게 해당 내용을 알려주시기 바랍니다.
Jeśli potrzebuje Pan/Pani pomocy w przeczytaniu tego ważnego dokumentu lub usług tłumaczeniowych podczas posiedzenia, prosimy zadzwonić pod bezpłatny numer Komisji ds. Odszkodowań Pracowniczych (Workers’ Compensation Board): (877) 632-4996. Pomoc tłumacza zostanie zapewniona bezpłatnie. Jeśli uważa Pan/Pani, że Komisja nie zapewniła odpowiednich usług tłumaczeniowych, prosimy nas powiadomić, kontaktując się z nami za pomocą formularza na stronie: wcb.ny.gov/lac.
Если вам нужна помощь в ознакомлении с этим документом или вам потребуются услуги переводчика на слушании, обратитесь в Совет по компенсациям работникам (Workers’ Compensation Board) по бесплатному номеру (877) 632-4996. Вам бесплатно предоставят услуги переводчика. Если вы считаете, что качество предоставленных Советом переводческих услуг было недостаточным, обратитесь к нам, заполнив форму по адресу: wcb.ny.gov/lac.
Si necesita ayuda para leer este importante documento o servicios de interpretación en su audiencia, llame al número gratuito de Workers’ Compensation Board (Junta de Compensación Obrera): (877) 632-4996. Se pondrá a su disposición un intérprete sin costo para usted. Si considera que la Junta no le brindó servicios de interpretación adecuados, infórmenos por medio del formulario que se encuentra aquí: wcb.ny.gov/lac.
আপনার শুনানিতে যদি এই গুরুত্বপূর্ণ নথি পড়ার জন্য বা দোভাষী পরিষেবার জন্য সহায়তা লাগে তাহলে অনুগ্রহ করে কর্মীদের ক্ষতিপূরণের পর্ষদের (Workers’ Compensation Board) টোল-ফ্রি নম্বরে ফোন করুন: (877) 632-4996। বিনামূল্যে আপনাকে একজন দোভাষী প্রদান করা হবে। যদি আপনার মনে হয় যে পর্ষদ আপনাকে পর্যাপ্ত দোভাষী পরিষেবা প্রদান করা হয়, তাহলে ফরম ব্যবহার করে আমাদের সঙ্গে যোগাযোগ করে আমাদের জানান: wcb.ny.gov/lac.
אױב איר דאַרפֿט הילף צוּ לײענען דאָס בלעטל אָדער װילט אױסטײַטשוּנג באַדינען אין אײַער פֿאַרהער, ביטע אָנקלינגט דעם פֿרײַ אָפּצאָל נוּמער פֿוּן אַרבעטער פֿאַרגיטיקוּנג באָרד: (877) 632-4996 מען װעט צוּשטעלן אַ פֿרײַ פֿאַרטײַטשער. אױב איר פֿילט אַז דעם באָרד האָט אײַך ניט צוּגעשטעלט אַדעקװאַט אױסטײַטשוּנג באַדינען, ביטע קאָנטאַקטירט אוּנדז בײַ ניצן די פֿאָרמע װאָס געפֿינט זיך אױף: wcb.ny.gov/lac
إذا كنت بحاجة إلى مساعدة في قراءة هذه الصفحة أو ترغب في الحصول على خدمات الترجمة الفورية في مرافعتك، فيُرجى الاتصال بالرقم المجاني لمجلس تعويض العاملين: (877) 632-4996. وسيتوفر لك مترجم فوري مجانًا. وإذا شعرت أن مجلس الإدارة لم يقدم لك خدمات الترجمة الفورية الكافية، فيُرجى إبلاغنا بذلك عن طريق الاتصال بنا باستخدام النموذج الموجود على: wcb.ny.gov/lac.
Si vous avez besoin d’aide pour lire cette page ou si vous souhaitez des services d’interprétation pour votre audience, veuillez appeler le numéro sans frais de la Commission des accidents du travail : (877) 632-4996. Un interprète vous sera fourni gratuitement. Si vous pensez que la Commission ne vous a pas fourni des services d’interprétation acceptables, veuillez-nous le faire savoir en nous contactant en utilisant le formulaire disponible à l’adresse : wcb.ny.gov/lac.
اگر آپ کو اس صفحہ کو پڑھنے میں مدد کی ضرورت ہے یا آپ اپنی سماعت پر مترجم کی خدمات چاہتے ہیں، تو براہ کرم ورکرز کمپنسیشن بورڈ (Workers’ Compensation Board) کے ٹول فری نمبر پر کال کریں: (877) 632-4996۔ ایک مترجم آپ کو بلامعاوضہ فراہم کیا جائے گا۔ اگر آپ محسوس کرتے ہیں کہ بورڈ نے آپ کو مترجم کی مناسب خدمات فراہم نہیں کی ہیں، تو براہ کرم اس فارم کا استعمال کر کے ہمیں بتائیں: wcb.ny.gov/lac
While treating your injury or illness is the top priority, preparing for your return to work is also important. Most people who receive workers' compensation benefits return to work, for lots of good reasons:
A quick return to an active life may help you get better faster.
Returning to work can benefit your overall and long-term compensation, as you won’t miss out on raises, promotions and seniority status.
Jobs are often a key source of friendships, both in and outside of work.
Some employers have official programs to help you return to work. Check with your Human Resources department to learn about any return-to-work (RTW) or stay-at-work (STW) programs or policies at your workplace. Also talk to your health care provider to determine if you’re well enough to participate in transitional work or light duty, which many employers offer.
Visit the Return to Work section of this website for important information, guidance and resources to help you return to work following a work-related injury or illness.
The Board has compiled a list of frequently asked questions that may be helpful, especially when you are dealing with a work-related injury or illness for the first time.
What happens if I do not file a workers’ compensation claim for my injury or illness?
You may lose your right to lost wage benefits and medical care for your work-related injury or illness.
What if my employer does not have the proper workers’ compensation insurance?
All employers are required to carry workers’ compensation coverage. If your employer does not have this coverage, you should still file for benefits. The Board has a means to make sure you receive the benefits to which you are entitled.
What parties may be involved in my workers’ compensation case?
Your workers’ compensation case may involve:
What types of medical providers can treat me for my work-related injury or illness?
You can seek treatment from a Board-authorized physician, chiropractor, podiatrist, psychologist, physical therapist, occupational therapist, acupuncturist, nurse practitioner, physician assistant or licensed clinical social worker.
What does it mean if my claim has been accepted?
It means that the insurer has accepted liability for your claim and that you will receive benefits.
What does it mean if my claim has been established?
It means that a law judge has determined that the insurer is responsible for paying benefits. Your claim is compensable, and you will receive benefits.
When do I receive lost wage benefits?
If your lost time from work is more than seven days, the insurer begins paying benefits within 18 days of the incident, or 10 days of receiving notice of your work-related injury/illness from your employer, whichever is later.
What is the maximum weekly lost wage benefit?
The maximum weekly lost wage benefit amount adjusts every July 1. It is based on the New York State Average Weekly Wage for the previous calendar year, as reported by the Commissioner of Labor to the Superintendent of Insurance on March 31 of each year. The schedule of benefits is published on the Board’s website.
What happens if my claim is controverted (disputed) by the insurer?
The insurer disputing your claim must file a notice of controversy with the Board within 18 days of your disability, or within 10 days of learning of the accident, whichever is later. The insurer must give the reasons why your claim is not being paid. A workers’ compensation law judge will then resolve the issue at a prehearing conference or a hearing.
Can an insurer suspend or modify my cash benefits?
In a case where an insurer has made payment without waiting for a judge's decision, the insurer may suspend or modify their payment based on payroll or medical evidence submitted to the Board. Otherwise, if a judge has ordered an insurer to pay a benefit on a weekly basis, a hearing must first occur. This is known as Carrier Continue Payments (CCP).
What can I do if I’m not satisfied with the judge's decision?
You may file with the Board a written application for review within 30 days of the filing of the notice of the Judge's decision. The application must specify why you disagree with the decision. The insurer may also appeal a decision. Both sides have the opportunity to rebut the appeal.
What can I do if I’m not satisfied with the Board's decision after an application for review?
You may appeal to the Appellate Division, Third Department, within 30 after the decision has been served upon the parties.
The Board has compiled some terms you should be familiar with as you begin the claims process. A more extensive glossary is also available, which you can access in the footer (bottom left) of any page of this website.
You can use the following forms to file a workers’ compensation claim, or you can file your claim online instead (see: File a Claim).